Ateneo Científico, Literario y Artístico de Madrid

Notable Building in Sol, Santa Ana & Huertas

This venerable club of learned types was founded in 1821, although the building took on its present form in 1884. Its library prompted Benito Pérez Galdós to describe it as the most important ‘intellectual temple’ in Madrid and a reference point for the thriving cultural life of the Barrio de las Letras. Guided visits take you into the foyer and the upstairs library, a jewel of another age, with dark timber stacks, weighty tomes and creakily quiet reading rooms dimly lit with desk lamps.