Some of the coolest galleries I have been in are right here in Madrid. This city has done a tremendous job of converting historic buildings into incredible community spaces for art and culture. One of my favourites is the Matadero Madrid.
The beautiful and interesting buildings of the Matadero were constructed between 1911 and 1925 in the neomudéjar architectural style, and this vast site served as the slaughterhouse and cattle market until 1996. I am not a vegetarian, but I try not to think about this too much.
In 2006, 10 years after the closure of the slaughterhouse, the Matadero, as we now know it, reopened as a bustling centre for contemporary arts. Today, there are a whole host of events and exhibitions, offered all year round, highlighting the visual arts, fashion, design, film, and music. There are even artists’ work spaces on-site, making collaboration between artists and the community possible. It’s always fun to take a peek and see the artists at work.
Many exhibitions are free to the public while others, like the films at the Cineteca or fashion shows at Nave 16, have ticketed entries. But on a sunny day, it’s a joy to simply come and hang out. Sit with a coffee or glass of wine at one of the many tables in the plaza and watch Madrid at play. While the Matadero is a little outside the central core of the city, the short metro ride is so worth it to discover and enjoy this unique and vibrant place.