By Douglas Jau
Photos: D. Jau unless stated otherwise
Go up the Faro de Moncloa and you’ll get to know Madrid in one sweeping glance. Most of it anyway. Two panoramic elevators take you a 100 meters up into the cielo (heaven) over this vibrant city. Up on the observation deck, with panels that provide the visitors all the info they’ll need to know about the city that unfolds before their very eyes, Madrid shares with its visitors its treasured monuments: the 18th century Royal Palace, arguably Madrid’s most beautiful building; the controversial Arch of Triumph, a throwback to the post-Spanish Civil Wat; the ultra-modern Cuatro Torres Business Area; Telefonica, Europe’s first-ever skyscraper; the Moncloa Palace, seat of the Spanish government and offcial residence of the Prime Minister; and the Almudena Cathedral among many other monuments that define Madrid.
The Guadarrama mountain range provides an awesome backdrop for most of the enchanting panorama.
If with luck you chose a day clear of clouds or the boina (the beret of pollution that sits low on the sky of Madrid after a spell of dry weather), you’ll see a hundred miles of the region.
In a way, the futuristic Faro de Moncloa, so called because it is located in the western district of that name, is Madrid’s answer to the Eiffel Tower, a radio transmission structure. Designed by architect Salvador Arroyo, the faro was built as a transmission tower in 1992, the year Madrid was designated the European Capital of Culture.
A walking distance from the Moncloa station of Metro Lines 3 and 6, it is some 20 minutes by subway, if that, from Puerta del Sol, the center of the capital. It is open everyday except Mondays, from 9:30 AM to 8:30 PM.
And at €3 per adult visitor, everyone’s agreed the price is A-OK. Tickets on the ground floor.
Say Hello to St. Peter if you see him up there!
Check out http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/faro-de-moncloa for more information.
> The Faro and the Guadarrama by Viviendo Madrid – Flickr: Faro de la Moncloa – Madrid (https://www.flickr.com/photos/51344807@N06/8429610022), CC BY 2.0
> Institute of Cultural Heritage (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:CARLOS_TEIXIDOR_CADENAS) and Arch of Triumph, cropped (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:CARLOS_TEIXIDOR_CADENAS), by Carlos Teixidor Cadenas, CC BY-SA 4.0