Date: 5 - 10 December 2023


Given the collapse that the obsolete Post and Telegraph offices of Puerta del Sol had suffered since the mid-19th century, the Spanish State decided to build a new headquarters in which to group the postal and telegraphic services required by a city in full development and expansion. .

The site occupied by the Buen Retiro Gardens in the Plaza de Emilio Castelar (today Cibeles) was chosen, a new urban center accessible to both the population of a saturated historic center and the inhabitants of the new expansions. The public competition was called in 1904, and the two young architects Antonio Palacios and Joaquín Otamendi were the winners.

Even before its inauguration in 1919, the new headquarters of the Madrid Post Office and Telegraphs assumed the destiny of becoming a controversial protagonist of Madrid iconography. Like it or not, the façade of the Cibeles Palace remains today the most recognizable image of the city: the one that represents it, if possible, next to the fountain that honors its goddess and presides over its square, in that constellation of unequivocal urban icons such as the Eiffel Tour, London Bridge or the Roman Colosseum.

Known as the Post Office by the people of Madrid, the Cibeles Palace maintained a crucial role throughout the 20th century both in the political life of the city and in the personal life of its citizens. Transformed more than a decade ago into the institutional headquarters of the Madrid City Council and a cultural space, it continues to offer citizens the essence of the city's diverse character: the traditional and the cosmopolitan, the modern and the traditional merge, the stately and the popular to form a multifaceted, resounding and enigmatic whole, difficult to define or adjective.

The exhibition, which takes place along the 2nd and 4th floors and in the CentroCentro Viewpoint, is supported, on the one hand, by the container itself, which becomes the main work on display, and, on the other, by the historiographic material that defines his biography: the technical documents, images, opinions, historical events that he has witnessed...

The narrative structure of the exhibition reproduces the functional scheme of the Palace to be organized into four large sections:
- attention to the public, substantiated in the large central lobby, a primary function that CentroCentro preserves intact;
- the administrative and industrial apparatus that revolved around this large space, organized along the correspondence management axis (portico of the mailboxes, battle room and Alarcón passage), which has been transformed to accommodate the new institutional function;
- the façade, a large sculptural altarpiece, an urban and political symbol from its origins to today;
- Madrid seen from the Palace, a public function added to the original tower after the transformation of the building into a multicultural space and the location of the viewpoint in the central tower.

Come and see.

Jacobo Armero, curator of the exhibition

Jacobo Armero (Madrid, 1969), is an Architect from the Higher Technical School of Architecture of Madrid. He has carried out various works in the field of cultural management, dealing with the curating, production, assembly and/or editing of publications in exhibitions among which Nueva forma, architecture, art and culture 1966-1975 (Centro cultural de la Villa, Madrid, 1996), Antonio Palacios, builder of Madrid (Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, 2001), Poesía Magazine (National Library of Spain, Madrid, 2004), Life and Facts of Arthur Rimbaud (La Casa Encendida, Madrid, 2007) , The collection of the National Museum Picasso Paris (Museo Nacional Reina Sofía, Madrid 2008), or Afterimage (La Casa Encendida, Madrid, 2012).

He has always been interested in the dissemination of the architecture and urban planning of his hometown, publishing numerous articles in the press, first in the newspaper El Mundo, and later in El País. He has received several public recognitions for his work linked to cultural management: Quality, Architecture and Urbanism Award from the Community of Madrid (2003); Urban Planning, Architecture and Public Works Award from the Madrid City Council (2003); and First Prize Gold Medal from the Bureau International des Expositions (2008). In 2019 he published his first novel, Stories of a Real Estate Agent (Lumen).


Location on map


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