Antigua Estación de Atocha

sights / Architecture

Antigua Estación de Atocha information

Madrid , Spain
Plaza del Emperador Carlos V
Getting there
Metro: Atocha Renfe
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In 1992 the northwestern wing of the Antigua Estación de Atocha (Old Atocha Train Station) was given a stunning overhaul. The structure of this grand iron-and-glass relic from the 19th century was preserved, while its interior was artfully converted into a light-filled tropical garden with more than 500 plant species. The project was the work of architect Rafael Moneo, and his landmark achievement was to create a thoroughly modern space that resonates with the stately European train stations of another age.

In the modern northeastern corner of the station, the 11 March 2004 Memorial is a moving monument to the victims of the 2004 terrorist attack at the station. Although partially visible from the Paseo de la Infanta Isabel, the memorial is best viewed from below. A glass panel shows the names of those killed, while the airy glass-and-perspex dome is inscribed with the messages of condolence and solidarity left by well-wishers in a number of languages in the immediate aftermath of the attack. The 12m-high dome is designed so that the sun highlights different messages at different times of the day, while the effect at night is akin to flickering candles.