Lonely Planet review
This grand former barracks dominates Conde Duque on the western fringe of Malasaña with its imposing, recently restored facade stretching 228m down the hill. A recent and massive clean-up of the facade has brought this imposing building back to life in a manner worthy of its local significance. Built in 1717 under the auspices of architect Pedro de Ribera, its highlight is the extravagant 18th-century doorway, which is a masterpiece of the baroque churrigueresque style. These days it’s home by day to a cultural centre, which hosts government archives, libraries, the Hemeroteca Municipal (the biggest collection of newspapers and magazines in Spain), temporary exhibitions and the Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporáneo . By night, in summer, one of the two large patios becomes an atmospheric venue for concerts; programs for exhibitions and concerts are posted outside. In the gardens to the northeast of the building, most mornings you’ll find old men playing petanca (boules) under the trees in a scene from Madrid’s village past.