Casa de Garay is a unique building in Madrid. It has four different façades which we think are worth seeing and admiring. It is located in Calle Almagro very close to the office of Estate One. Barrio de Chamberí is well known due to its elegant buildings with stately entrances. However, Casa de Garay is different from the rest not only because it is stunningly beautiful, but because it has its own history. Today, we will visit it in our section Corners of Madrid. In this section, we have already written about Parque Santander.
AN ELEGANT SMALL PALACE WITH OUTSTANDING BEAUTY
Casa de Garay is located in 42, Calle Almagro. It was named after its first owner Antonio Garay Vitorica, who had it built in 1914.
Antonio Garay Vitorica was an aristocrat of Basque origin, and he commissioned the also Basque architect Manuel María Smith e Ibarra the project of the house which was designed in a regionalist style.
At the end of the XIX and the beginning of the XX century, Paseo de la Castellana underwent an important expansion and development. As a result, it started to be lined with grand and solemn buildings which gave added lustre to the areas of Chamberí and Barrio de Salamanca.
Casa de Garay is an example of this and it stands out due to its special beauty, its windows and the exposed brick top floor. Moreover, its four façades are decorated with semicircular arches and many ornamental motifs.
CASA DE LAS ABEJAS OR BEE´S HIVE
Next to Casa de Garay, in 47 Calle Almagro, “Casa de las Abejas” is located. Antonio Garay, the founder, apart from having his house built, also set up his own business called La Moderna Apicultora. At that time, the Art Nouveau style probably had an influence on the chosen name. Antonio Garay made beehives which were very successfully sold to apiarists or beekeepers. Hence, the businessman built a workshop and its offices.
The façade of the offices is decorated with bees and nowadays it is still intact. This place was very popular at the time and even king Alfonso XIII went to visit it. It became coloquially known as “Casa de las Abejas”. At present, the factory is located in Calle Doctor Esquerdo and Moderna Apicultura has been transformed into a honey and its by-products business.
Pictures 01, 02, 04: Luis García
Picture 06: Jacinta Lluch Valero