Palacio de Cibeles


When was the last time you went to City Hall? I imagine it is taking you quite some time to remember, and I don’t blame you since the overwhelming majority of us don’t really go to city hall unless we absolutely need to.

City Halls tend to be rather boring and dull, but what if your City Hall looked like this?

plaza de cibeles
Palacio de Cibeles, City Hall of Madrid (credit: Esteban Martinez)

This is the Palacio de Cibeles, the current building where the Madrid City Hall is located. Though it was originally built and used for the headquarters of a postal communication company, it was renovated by a recent mayor. The renovations costed around 500 million euro, courtesy of the Madrid tax payers.

The building is as beautiful as the plaza it was placed in. Both the Plaza de Cibeles and the Palacio de Cibeles are very prestigious. In fact, the palace is actually a national landmark. The plaza is historic because of all the prestigious buildings that are in the area such as the national bank, the military headquarters, the stock market, and the Instituto Cervantes.

skyline of inner madrid
Skyline of Madrid (credit: Esteban Martinez)
fountain in plaza
Fountain of Cibeles in the Plaza de Cibeles (credit: Esteban Martinez)

Besides being so historic, the Palacio de Cibeles also has an epic view of the plaza and the skyline of inner Madrid. (Note: you have to pay to get to the top of the building to see the view.)

As I am sure you can imagine the building is as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside. Though the building is rather stunning, it is criticized for its vast amount of resources that are basically used for nothing. The building is supposed to portray the grandeur of the Madrid local government, but it is hard to do that when 500 million euro are not completely accounted for.

The building is supposed to be used frequently for the citizens of Madrid. When we went to visit it we were told it was going to be a busy day, and when we arrived we saw at most 30 people. This just shows that the Madrid local government isn’t quite reaching the level of hype that they wished.

inside of palace
Inside of Palacio de Cibeles (credit: Esteban Martinez)

The building is also criticized for its large empty and useless space. On top of that it is also criticized for using spaces for profit such as renting out sections of the building for private corporations and for-profit art exhibits. Despite the allegations and criticisms it is still an enjoyable building with astonishing architecture and exhibits that change every now and again. More on the plus side, the building also has collaborative work rooms that can be used by anyone including students, entrepreneurs, kids…anyone!

Art Exhibit

So, is this an epic building? Yes. Is it legitimate? Who knows. Will it be accepted by the people of Madrid some day? Maybe. Are we all jealous that our city hall doesn’t look like this? You bet!

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