Royal Palace Madrid “The Palace Architect”

Who knows what we are capable of If there are no limits Beyond the limits Winter is approaching Frost crackling on the ground The afternoon is sweet and sunny   This quote is from the song ‘Memorie di una Testa Tagliata’ (‘Memories of a Severed Mind’) by the Italian band Consorzio Suonatori Indipendenti. The lyrics […]

Mysteries of Madrid “The Rastro”

One cannot talk about Madrid on a Sunday morning without mentioning the Rastro. This is the most famous street market in the Spanish capital and indeed the whole of Spain. Here you can buy everything under the sun, from priceless antiques to bric-a-brac hardly worth bargaining for. But let us take a moment to consider […]

Mysteries of Madrid “The Cannibal Father”

When we had come unto the fourth day, Gaddo Threw himself down outstretched before my feet, Saying, ‘My father, why dost thou not help me?’ And there he died; and, as thou seest me, I saw the three fall, one by one, between The fifth day and the sixth; whence I betook me, Already blind, […]

Mysteries of Madrid “The House of Cats”

No sooner had the reverberation of my blows sunk into silence, than I was answered by a voice from within the tomb! – by a cry, at first muffled and broken, like the sobbing of a child, and then quickly swelling into one long, loud, continuous scream, utterly anomalous and inhuman – a howl – […]

Mysteries of Madrid “The Cats”

I married early, and was happy to find in my wife a disposition not uncongenial with my own. Observing my partiality for domestic pets, she lost no opportunity of procuring those of the most agreeable kind. We had birds, gold-fish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey, and a cat. This latter was a remarkably […]

Mysteries of Madrid “The Goblin’s House”

The forest is no longer swarming; Not a breath stirs the countryside. The last of the lamplight flickers and is consumed. The hut, plebeian, Casts an imposing shadow. In the bedroom, furnished with glass and silk; The inhabitants surrender to sleep And everything is consumed by darkness. Oh peaceful night! Oh suspended life! Imitating death. […]

Mysteries of Madrid “The Fallen Angel”

The Mother of Mankind, what time his Pride Had cast him out from Heav’n, with all his Host Of Rebel Angels. (…) Round he throws his baleful eyes That witnessed huge affliction and dismay Mixt with obdurate pride and steadfast hate.   This quote is from the first book of John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise […]

Mysteries of Madrid “The Palace of Linares”

My son, it cost me a great effort to write this letter. So many times I have longed to confide in you and tell you my secret, a terrible secret that I have kept hidden for a long time. In my life, as in that of other men, there have been fleeting love stories which […]

The Dark Side of Toledo

“The sacrificed one must be male. The blood of a woman can be infected, because they are among the few guardians of innocence. His soul must be free from original sin and his body must not have been stained with holy water, so he must not have been baptized. Neither his body nor his soul […]

Mysteries of Madrid “The House of the Seven Chimneys”

One, two … three … four, five, six, seven… seven chimneys. That’s right, there are seven chimneys crowning the house with seven chimneys ‘Casa de las siete chimeneas’, a singular feature that gives the house it’s name. The house of the seven chimneys… a historic dwelling with a mysterious past. The old building dates from […]