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Editor'S Choice - 2019

The mystery route of Madrid

This route is to travel Madrid with open eyes and uncorrupted perception, to get carried away between legends and know "everything that is hidden behind the facades of the city."

See "13" photos "The abandoned places of Madrid for a chilling trip"

The route of the mystery of Madrid © iStock

That literally tells us our companion, Clara Tahoces, author of the already mythical Magic Madrid Guide And passionate about mystery. From your expert hand we move through the capital, listening to those stories that go beyond the objective data. Open your mind and welcome.

See 13 photos

The abandoned places of Madrid for a chilling trip

We meet in front of the Linares Palace, current House of america, how could it be otherwise. This palace is stigmatized by some alleged psychophonies that in the 90s went around the world.

We sat in front of the Dollhouse and Clara Tahoces He tells me his experience. Together with a team of today disappeared Parapsychological Association of the Community of Madrid, was in charge of investigating the event taking advantage of the last permission granted by the Planning Department in 1991.

We discover THE OTHER Madrid © iStock

Result? “The palace was not renovated yet and did not have an electrical installation. All of it provided 100% sensations, but not at the level of evidence ”.

Of 400 photographs, 5% do not have a simple explanation, such as a snapshot that was taken in the middle of the night but, when revealed, it turned out to appear with all the luminosity. The recorders installed in the different units caught a voice that seemed to say "number six" and in the room of the marquise, sounds that seemed to be three lashes.

Either way, the Association also denied the alleged legend of the Marquis de Linares married, without knowing it at first, with his stepsister and with whom he adopted Raimundita (hence the current name of the terrace where you can eat or ask for a drink ...), supposedly causing psychophonies.

We move between “supposedly” and “says the legend”, a language of past testimonies that have been transmitted for centuries, from mentideros to the darkest books in the capital. The other Madrid is written like this.

The Linares Palace and the alleged psychophonies © Casa de América

Going up Alcalá Street we stumble upon the San José Parish, "Where Lope de Vega sang Mass in 1914", as a plaque says as a sneak.

Its interior is dark, ghostly, full of blackness and without possible passage to the sun's rays that hit the street.

It certainly helps to get in position for Clara to tell us the story: mid-nineteenth century, a time of carnival, a feast of masks in which a fierce young man is attracted to one of the attendees, a countess dressed in black. They end up looking for a place to hide and, by chance, the door of the church of San José was open. She finally pronounces herself to reveal that she is the same one who is there, near the church's atrium ... On a catafalque. And disappears. At hours the gentleman returns to the church to rule out a bad play of the alcohol of the party. A funeral was being held. That of a countess.
“In every legend there is a reality. But by counting them they deform and it is difficult to distinguish what is true and what is not. This is what happens with the House of Seven Chimneys”, Clara tells me as we walk along the street of Las Infantas.

In the King's Square is this building, current headquarters of the Ministry of Culture. Through its roof, this day fully illuminated with a sun about to set, they are distinguished the seven chimneys that give it its name. We talk about possible here Ghostly apparitions of the young Elena, the daughter of a montero of King Carlos I.

Facade of the Parish of San José © María F. Carballo

She lived in this old house with Captain Zapata, her husband, who soon after marrying had to leave on a mission from which he did not return. Elena fell into a depression that did not come alive (although it was commented in the Villa mentideros who had been killed by her father, who committed suicide soon after).

The point is that a few days after the news of Elena's death, a woman dressed in white appeared on the rooftop walking among the chimneys with a torch. And so for several days.
We left the Plaza (personally, thanking because the sun was still with us) and climbed parallel to the Gran Via on the way to Convent of San Placido.

Crossing Fuencarral on Puebla Street, Clara can't help making a small stop at the Convent of San Juan de Alarcón (corner with Valverde), “where every year the same day shows the incorrupt Blessed, Mariana de Jesus. The nuns who keep it say that their body exhales an apple perfume… ”

Who was going to tell us that in the heart of the modern Madrid, every April 17, the incorrupt body of the copatrona of Madrid It exposed For those who want to see this symbol of mysticism.

The House of the seven chimneys © María F. Carballo

We relaxed despite the sound of continuous traffic (the disadvantages of urban paradise) and Clara tells me that since childhood the mystery caught her attention, perhaps it had something to do with Dracula Bram Stoker was one of his first readings.

Where would you hide in the city? "In the Capricho Park that I am precisely investigating; It is an authentic open-air museum, full of symbology and a very curious history. It was the old recreation house of the Duchess of Osuna, (a very peculiar woman) Goya's first patron. He commissioned six paintings, "Witch affairs", (among which are the famous 'Aquelarre') that he placed in his work cabinet. The house was pure leisure, with casino, dance hall, a navigable river ... And a hermit who allowed to live on the farm With two conditions: do not cut your hair or nails. When guests were coming, the hermit was ordered to leave to scare them. Today the tomb of this character is under a pyramid, one of the many Masonic symbols that flood the Caprice. ”

And we continue with the religious imagery in the middle of Malasaña. We finally arrive at San Roque street. It is not for scaring regulars by Coconut bar, but just in front is the entrance to the unnoticed Convent of San Placido, known for several mysteries.

The best known, the episode of a young novice who began to behave strangely, as if possessed of what the Inquisitorial investigation decided to respond with an exorcism... poorly carried out by the confessor himself, since a few days later all the novices behaved in the same way, except for four.

"It would be explainable with an episode of collective hysteria derived from the jealousy of the nuns for the possible relationship with the confessor of the convent, who came to self-incriminate," Clara concludes. Here it seems that reality surpasses talk.
We leave here, following San Roque Street until we finish at the Moon Squareleaving behind Moon 16, building marked by a violent episode and by, supposedly, being the place from which messages from the Ummo case… Said and done.

Ummites, we go to the epicenter of the capital's ufological gatherings, Café Lyon, now converted into The Irish Tavern, James Joyce. We go back through the city center, this time on the Gran Vía and we stay in Alcala 59.

On the ground floor (today with access only for staff) is the old room where the 'Tertulias de la Ballena Alegre ', meetings of experts in ufology that dealt mainly with the messages coming from the Ummo Planet in the 60s.

"The information is contradictory, the messages received meaningless ... But what is certain is that this coffee was essential for the discussion about extraterrestrial life and the starting point ”.

On the San Roque street, the legend of the Convent of San Placido flies over © María F. Carballo

I can't help it and I ask for the sculpture of the Fallen Angel, perhaps the most widespread symbol of the mystery of the city, located in the Retiro park.

"It's the statue of Luzbel, beautiful light, which represents the most spiritual part of evil (Satan would be physics), and is a metaphor for that being who steals fire to give it to men. It is bound by the snake, symbol of wisdom. And yes, it is exactly at 666 meters above the level of evil, it is not a myth”.

Clara also tells me that there are two curiosities about this statue that are not so well known: It is located in the center of a square with five exits and these form a pentagon, "the symbol of venus, 'morning star' ... like Lucifer", ends. The second, that there is a reproduction of this statue in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, where we can appreciate it much more closely.

Luzbel in the Retiro Park © Flickr Felipe Gabaldon

How to hate Madrid knowing these anecdotes and walking them in the thousand and one routes that we can draw between legend and symbol? “Stay and know it. The magical tradition of Madrid is that… magical ”, Clara answers.

Top the tour on this terrace of surreal history, with the Puerta de Alcalá behind us, whose boundaries formed an ancient burner of the Inquisition and Cibeles in front (The 'white goddess' as mandated by the soccer tradition, but black for Roman mythology), sums up well what Madrid is.

A visible city, full of great architectures, a living banner of history; an invisible city, crowded with legends, curiosities, symbols ... And metaphors of our curious essence and something gossip, as in those corrillos de decires, as in those villagers of the Villa.

The five exits centered on the sculpture of the Fallen Angel © Google Maps

The door of Alcalá, end of the tour © Corbis

See 13 photos

The abandoned places of Madrid for a chilling trip

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