Serving for decades as Madrid’s largest slaughterhouse, this massive complex was re-purposed several times until closing its doors in the 70s. We had to wait until 2006 to see this vast and architecturally breathtaking space come back to life and from then on, it has become one of the most active cultural spots in the city.
Stepping out from Legazpi Metro stop, a grandiose water container suspended several meters high invites you to enter Matadero’s enclosure. Large car-wash rubber curtains lead you to different industrial-like buildings. At this point expect your mouth to be wide open with amazement. As you stroll around the warehouses you realize the whole demographic make-up of the city is mingling in the same plaza. Noisy kids bike around couples, groups of elderly read through brochures and art enthusiasts breath in creativity in high doses.
The surroundings are charming. A huge glass greenhouse shelters a wide collection of cacti and tropical plants, and lets you forget the concrete jungle you live in. Madrid Río park spreads across the city’s narrow river just behind Matadero and attracts skaters and weekend wanderers.
A home for art creation
In Matadero every possible form of art expression is developed. Visual arts, design, music, literature, theater, film, urban sustainability and architecture. You name it, you got it here. In the mood to party? Redbull Academy offers you an open air festival in the central area. In need for a quiet and inviting space to finish your thesis on time? Matadero’s library is the place for you. Eager to find out about the national and international design scene? Loose yourself in the monthly Central de Diseño exhibitions.
Getting citizens involved
The special beauty of Matadero is it's dynamic growth, thanks to citizens’ intervention and participation. Here, endless activities aim to approach Madrilians to their city: Bici-picnic takes you on a ride across the city, urban landscape initiatives are put to action in meetings, local artists are promoted, co-working spaces are rented for upcoming businesses and grants are offered for entrepreneurs. Monthly farmers markets help support local production. The list of activities is endless.
No pain - a lot of gain
Visiting Matadero for me is like getting a whiff of fresh air. No matter if you go on your own, with friends or family, you always get the feeling that you are arousing your inner artist. So I am happy to announce that Madrid has a new place to get inspired, get a sense of belonging and to keep you going through the rest of the week. Don’t miss it, Matadero is made by and for you.
Photos by Marta Aguilar Cerezo
Wondering how to get there? This way!
- Carolina -