December 2, 2022

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Colonia de la Prensa Gate in Madrid, Spain

This red-and-beige, Art Nouveau gate commemorates a moment in the early 1900s when a writers colony was built here in what was then a rural town. 

In 1910, a group of professionals in journalism and literature came together to form The Fifty. They were pioneers in availing themselves of the Affordable Houses Law of 1911—aimed at constructing houses for Spaniards of limited means—on lands located between the neighborhoods of Carabanchel Alto and Carabanchel Bajo. The Fifty soon became known as the Colonia de la Prensa (Press Colony) Cooperative Beneficial Association for the Construction of Affordable Housing.

The first stone of Colonia de la Prensa was laid in 1913 by King Alfonso XII. It is estimated that in 1915, this unique gate and its beautiful upper identification plate were finally erected. As an emblem of the colony, the structure embodies the artistic fervor that inspired the creation of this modernist residential complex for journalists, writers, and poets on the far outskirts of Madrid, when Carabanchel was a rural town home to the second properties and noble mansions of wealthy people from the capital.

The gate, of great architectural interest, was located at the beginning of an old street called Mediodía (noon) where a tram used to stop. Most of the colony’s houses are now gone, but if you cross the gate and walk to Rodriguez Lázaro street, you can still view the 10 remaining houses. Luckily, the gate still stands.

Know Before You Go

You can get to Colonia De La Prensa Gate by Bus, Metro or Train. Take the 131, 34, 35, 481, 482, 486 buses, The C5 train to stops nearby, or the Eugenia de Montijo to the Line-5 stop. 

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