Casa de America
Address: Plaza de Cibeles, 2
Metro: Banco de España (L2)
The Casa de America is a consortium created in 1990 by the Spanish Ministry of the Exterior, the Community of Madrid and the Madrid City Council to focus on economic political, scientific, technological and cultural affairs related to Latin America. It’s activities include those related to literature, theatre, cinema and art, and it also presents a number of different awards and since 2007 has organised the VivAmerica cultural event.
It’s based in the Palacio de Linares, a building constructed between 1877 and 1900, overlooking the Plaza de Cibeles, famous for being the location where Real Madrid’s major victories are celebrated. The Palace itself is particularly well known for all the ghost stories associated to it – and particularly the one about the daughter of a man of wealthy stock, José de Murga y Reolid, and a humble young lady called Raimunda Osorio. It turns out that Raimunda, was not really the daughter of a cigar trader, but the result of an extra-marital affair involving Jose´s own father. In other words, they had unknowingly committed incest. In order to cover up the scandal, they murdered the child – and she supposedly still haunts the building today.
Anyway, as far as concerts are concerned, the venue has a small ‘amphitheatre’ that’s used for different performances, naturally given the purpose of the Casa de America, usually with a Latin American slant, although not necessarily so. Being in a place and surrounded by all the luxuries of a typical Madrid stately home, this about as plush a venue as you could hope for, and tourist come here for guided visits to admire the architecture and treasures. You’re obviously not going to get too many thrash metal bands appearing here, this is place for ‘serious’ musicians to give intimate concerts.
Casa de America is right in the city centre. As you come out of Banco de España metro station, you can’t miss Plaza de Cibeles, the traditional intersection between the Centro, Retiro and Salamanca districts, with the famous fountain of the Greek goddess Cybele in the centre and surrounded by monumental buildings from the 18th and 19th century, one of which is, of course, the Palacio de Linares.