Industrial tourism in the city of Madrid
Madrid Naval Museum
Discover one of the lesser-known sides of Madrid: its role as a city with close links to the transport industry. The options available in some of its museums and visitor centres include a chance to visit one of the earliest underground stations and to see the oldest aeroplane in Spain.
These following centres are well worth a visit if you're interested in industrial heritage. What's more, they can all be reached on the underground system. The Air Museum: this houses a large collection of motors, in addition to uniforms, weapons and 150 aircraft, including the first aeroplane manufactured in Spain, a Russian fighter and a German bomber which took part in the Spanish Civil War. The underground station nearest the museum is 'Cuatro Vientos'. 'The Railway Museum': this is a railway station dating from the late 19th century –an example of 'iron architecture'– which has also been used as the set for various films and television series. Visitors can see steam and electric locomotives and enjoy a collection of model trains. It is located between the underground stations of 'Delicias' and 'Palos de la Frontera'.
The National Science and Technology Museum: it is located on the same site as the Railway Museum and offers an overall view of the transport systems which revolutionised society in the late 19th century.
Madrid Metro Visitor Centre, or Andén 0 ('Platform 0'): this is formed by the spaces known as the 'Ghost station' and the 'Pacífico Engine Room'. The first is a station on the earliest underground line in Madrid, and although it is no longer in operation it has been completely restored for welcome visitors. It is located between the underground stations of 'Iglesias' and 'Bilbao'. In addition, next door to the 'Pacífico' underground station is the Engine Room, an old power plant that was used to generate the energy for the old underground system.
The Naval Museum: it explores the history of the Spanish navy and the relationship between man and the sea through shipbuilding, map-making and technology applied to navigation. It is located beside the Prado Museum ('Banco de España' underground station).
Things to remember
The tourist offices in the Plaza Mayor and Plaza de Colón squares offer a leaflet on industrial tourism in Madrid. Each time you visit one of these museums, your leaflet will be stamped, and once it is complete you'll be entitled to a free gift to commemorate your visits, available for collection at these two tourist offices.
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