MODERN MADRID, AZCA

Audio File length: 2.10
Author: STEFANO ZUFFI E DAVIDE TORTORELLA
English / USA Language: English / USA

Hi, I'm James, your personal guide. Together with MyWoWo, I'd like to welcome you to one of the wonders of the world.

Today I'll accompany you through AZCA,

one of the most interesting neighborhoods of 20th-century Madrid!

You are in the heart of the so-called New Ministries zone, where the Hippodrome once stood.

On your right, you can take in one of the best views of this huge neighborhood that covers an area of over two hundred hectares. It is known more simply by the acronym of its initials: A.Z.C.A., or "Asociación mixta de compensación de la manzana de la A de la Zona Comercial de la Avenida del Generalísimo" (Mixed Association for Compensation of the A Block of the Commercial Area of the Avenue of the Generalisimo). Of course, the Avenida del Generalísimo which was dedicated to Francisco Franco has since changed its name and is now called "Paseo de la Castellana".

This group of very tall buildings was designed in the 1950s, but only began construction almost twenty years later: the result is an architectural complex that doesn't seem very uniform, with several "towers", headquarters of banks and multinational corporations, offices, and shopping centers. Undoubtedly the most beautiful building, and I think you'll agree with me, is the elegant PicassoTower that was built in the late 80s and designed by a Japanese architect; it is easily recognizable for its light outer layer.

Can you see the skyscraper at the edge of AZCA? It's name is simply Castellana 81, like its street number, but it was also finished in 1981. At the exact opposite of the area you can see the bright Titania Tower. It was built in 2013 on the ashes of a skyscraper that had been destroyed by fire eight years before, whose cause is still shrouded in a cloud of mystery and smoke.

 

FUN FACT: various outdoor events are organized in this area. If you come at the right time, don't miss  "Madreat", which is a street food festival that began in 2014; picturesque food trucks park around Picasso Square and are peacefully besieged by thousands of hungry people during the festival!

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