Today’s Cultural Wednesday is unfortunately going to be a bit of a cheat, because I actually went to the site in question last Sunday, since it’s only open four days a week. I decided to “save it up” until today because I thought it was interesting, and I wanted to write about it. So I guess it’s a Cultural Sunday Disguised as a Cultural Wednesday, but that’s getting a bit too complicated, even for me…
Sometime this week (let’s not be too particular about the precise day 😉 ), I decided to go to the Metro Museum (or Andén 0) at Chamberí.
I had walked past the entrance many times, as it is right near my house, but whilst the Metro Line 1 was being repaired, the Museum was also closed. So, when Line 1 reopened, I decided that now was the time to check it out.
Line 1 was the first to be built in Madrid, and Chamberí was one of the original stations, so it’s historically very important. It was closed permanently because the platforms are curved, and the newer trains aren’t able to safely stop there.
The station had a similar feel to Museum in Sydney, and it was like entering a time warp. The ticket barriers and entrance are in their unique states, and I had to go through an old metal gate to get in.
Spanish rules and regulations are pretty relaxed, and visitors are allowed to go down to the platform, and watch from behind a glass barrier as the current Metro trains zip past a metre or so away. It was really exciting to hear the trains coming along the tracks, and then to see them whizz by, so close that you could see the expressions on the passengers’ faces.
They also had a lot of old advertisements on the walls, many in Art Deco style, which were pretty cool.
And there were plenty of maps and information from the period. I particularly enjoyed reading about the price of tickets, which were extraordinarily cheap (or at least in today’s terms).
OK, so the Museum is unlikely to make it onto a list of Must Visit Places in Madrid. But I thought it was worth a visit 🙂 And if anyone is looking to make a historical movie, and needs to include an authentic train station, I know just the place!