Monday, August 8

Before Greater Madrid: what remains of Chamartín de la Rosa in Tetuán


Anyone who has ever approached the history of the neighborhoods of Madrid will know of the origin of Tetuán (then Victorias) as a peripheral neighborhood of Chamartín de la Rosa, a medieval town that would soon be overtaken by its suburbs. After the war, the architects attached to the Regime began to design a reconstruction plan that conceived of Madrid as the imperial capital and capital. of capital. The design was contained in the General Management Plan of 41, known as the Bigador Plan, and its subsequent developments and variations, which would end with the annexation of neighboring towns in order to reach the longed-for Greater Madrid.

Chamartín de la Rosa was the first of the municipalities absorbed between 1947 and 1954. After Chamartín, whose order was issued in 1947 although it became effective the following year, it was the turn of Carabanchel Alto (1948) Carabanchel Bajo (1948), Canillas (1950), Canillejas (1950), Hortaleza (1950), Barajas (1950), Vallecas (1950), El Pardo (1951), Vicálvaro (1951), Fuencarral (1951), Aravaca (1951) and Villaverde (1954). These annexations meant that Madrid multiplied its territory by eight.

To begin the tour of the material remains of Chamartín de la Rosa in Tetuán, we spoke with Antonio Ortiz, historian and member of the Tetuán Neighborhood House. It gives us some clues to fly feather:

“There is a sewer in Araucaria with Algodonales. I think there are still some stores with the name of Chamartín, for example there is a hardware store in Bravo Murillo that is called that. Some have changed them, such as the Tetuán market, old in Chamartín. There is the Chamartín cycling club or the Chamartín Town Hall, current Municipal Board of Tetuán ”. Some of these locations or remains are the same that other experts in the neighborhood have given us and we have found by ourselves, which gives the measure that, apart from the surviving hamlet itself, the rest of the remains of the municipality of Chamartín in Tetuán are object of archaeological work.

The most evident material memory of Chamartín de la Rosa in the district of Tetuán is the District Board (Bravo Murillo 357), which was once the town hall of Chamartín. Why was it in one of its neighborhoods and not in the historic town? Well, because the neighborhood became more important than the town itself and many of the politicians who animated its life lived on the shores of Bravo Murillo Street. So much so that the Chamarín de la Rosa City Council had been in Tetuán since 1880 (in a rented house on Calle de Tetuán, now Roble), despite the fact that at that time this was a beginning suburb.

The current building dates from 1934, as can be read on the small pediment that adorns its central tower. Underneath, it still reads “town hall”. The works, which had begun in 1930, were directed by the architect José María Plaja –who designed the dome of the La Unión and the Fénix building in Gran Vía– and the first aid house and a library were established in the building, in addition to the different municipal agencies.

In the Calle de los Algodonales we find a couple of hidden remains with the memory of chamartín, literally, printed. It is a perpendicular to Bravo Murillo, which is very Tetuán, where working-class buildings of popular neo-Mudejar architecture still coexist with low houses, lots and, especially at the end of the street, new developments underway.

To see the first of them we must look down. It is at the junction with Calle de Araucaria and it is a manhole cover from 1936 on which you can read “Sewer of Chamartín de la Rosa”.

To repair the second, on the other hand, we must look upwards, since we are talking about a stone plate that has surely survived because it is on a high facade (at number 3 of the street). It reads “The town of Chamartín de la Rosa to the martyrs of Annual”. They put us on the trail of the existence of this plaque from the Group for the Protection of Heritage of Tetouan and the Center for Studies on Islamic Madrid.

From the intersections of Algodonales, by the way, you can see the Tetuán Market (Marqués de Viana 4), formerly of Chamartín de la Rosa, which was projected in 1946 with this name, shortly before the annexation to Madrid.

As Antonio Ortiz pointed out, commercial toponymy indicates the path of the recent history of the neighborhoods. On the west bank of Bravo Murillo, close to what was the extension of the Castellana, there are still different shops that are called Greater Madrid, picking up the idea under which the annexations of the peripheral towns took place.

The great example of surviving nomenclature in our case is the Chamartín hardware store, which shows a “since 1934” on its awning. Although the current premises are in a recently built building, the Chamartín has been guarding the northern section of Bravo Murillo since the time of the Second Republic, with the continuity of several generations since then behind its counter.

Crossing to the other side of Bravo Murillo again, and surrounding the nearby Plaza de la Remonta, we find the commemorative plaque of the Chamartín Cycling Club, next to its current headquarters and a poster that announces the last cycling race held in Bravo Murillo, the past October 24th.

Although the current incarnation of the Club dates from 1951 due to the caesura caused by the war and the postwar period, it was founded in 1925, being the first cycling club in Castilla and one of the first in Spain. Its historical affiliates include Julian Berrendero, dominating cyclist of the thirties and forties. Currently they continue with the cycling tradition from their cycling club.

In reality, the very nomenclature of the Remonta could be considered in a certain way a reminder of the times dependent on Chamartín de la Rosa, since the current square preserves the name of the Cuartel de la Remonta, located in that Tetuán de las Victorias, which was located on the lands that had been, long ago, the Quinta de los Castillejos. The same happens with many streets in the district and even with the property titles of the oldest houses of all that are still standing, which still keep the discontinuous path of the history of Madrid today we have tried to travel.





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