Palacio del Marqués de Portugalete

Palacio del Marqués de Portugalete photographed by Jean Laurent in 1880 for Urbanity.
Palacio del Marqués de Portugalete in the late - 19th century.
A hall in the Palacio del Marqués de Portugalete.

The Palacio del Marqués de Portugalete was a palace located at number 56 of the Calle de Alcalá and the corner of Calle Alfonso XI, in Madrid. For many years it was one of the usual venues in which was discussed national politics.[1] Now in its site is a building belonging to the Ministry of Health.


It was built in the early 1860s during the reign of Isabel II. Its owner was the Marquis of Portugalete and Duke of Bailén, originally was called "Duchy of Bailén Castaños" nobility title created in 1833, by King Ferdinand VII in favor of General Francisco Javier Castaños y Aragorri Urioste y Olavide, with personal and lifetime character. It was later transformed into perpetual and hereditary in 1847 by Queen Isabel II.

Dies the General Castaños childless passing the peerages to Luis Ángel de Carondelet y Castaños, his sister's son, and her husband the Baron of Carondelet, who held the 2nd Marquisate of Portugalete.

The plans and the direction of the construction of the building were executed by the French architect Adolfo Ombrecht. In its interior, had ballroom (upholstered of flowers), a chapel for religious events, billiard room, a hall of portraits, bathrooms decorated in Pompeian style by the painter Oreste Mancini, gallery museum, music hall and a large number of dependencies. The decor all of it made of Carrara marble, tapestries and painting of Francisco Goya, Vicente López, Palmaroli, Eduardo Rosales, Murillo, Pradilla, Madrazo, Gisbert, Casado del Alisal, etc., sculptors being the most renowned Benlliure, ebony and ivory furnitures, colorful chandeliers and windows.[2]

The palace was built in the center of the plot, having an inner courtyard with garden, the outside was enclosed by a fence.

For the construction was used the stone and the brick alternately, stone for the main part as corners, gables, cornices, doorways and windows. To highlight the design of the central body of the facade of the calle de Alcalá forming a curved space.

At the death without descendants of the 3rd Duke of Bailén, Eduardo de Carondelete y Donado in 1882 the titles passed to his carnal niece, Encarnación Fernández de Córdoba, but the palace and its contents were inherited by his widow, María Dolores del Collado y Echagüe, the latter, was the one who really gave luster and fame to that palace. And she did especially through her celebrated parties and meetings.

For many years the palace was a meeting place for the wealthy and political classes of the time as Cánovas del Castillo. In its halls national politics was so commonplace that once, leaving Cánovas this palace with a large representation of the Government, a reporter asked: "Mr. President, have been Council?"

It was demolished after the Spanish Civil War to make way for new forms of urbanism and in 1946, the building of the National Insurance Institute, later called the National Institute of Health was built in its place. At present, the current building is owned by the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality of the Government of Spain.



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