Before his entry, Fernando VII sent a decree
on which he added to the very noble and very loyal tittles that Madrid had from
the Middle Ages, the one of "heroic", in
recognition of madrilenians courage during the just finished war against
Besides, before his arrival, some rumours
had arose of his absolutism and the verifying of the persecution suffered by
deputies who took part on Cádiz Courts.
In fact, the origin and boom of new satiric
newspapers and those of critic political opinion did not last long, been
persecuted and closed by absolutism and intransigence.
The new monarch paralysed all initiatives
that José Bonaparte had started. He returned expropriated convents and
churches to their old owners, mostly ecclesiasticals, who supported the new
fernandian politics, wasting this situation to carry the city successfully
through certain urban improvements, essential without the doubt.
Nevertheless, El Retiro began to be rebuilt
on 1815, under the advise of architect López Aguado, one of the most
important ones at the moment.
They planted new groves there, trenches were
covered, they demolished the ruins of the remaining hermitages and of the Buen
Retiro palace, except for the Casón and the Army Museum, which were
rebuilt and adapted, but not so the Royal Porcelain Factory, that in a very
short time could have start producing the lovely old-times figures.
On November 19th, 1819, the Prado Museum is
opened to public. On 1820, after Riego rebellion, Fernando VII swears the
constitution in the presence of the courts and three years later, madrilenians
rises up when knowing that extraordinary courts have been concluded, demanding a
regency to substitute Fernando VII.
One month later, courts leave Madrid upon
arrival of French army. Royal family moves to Sevilla, returning to town on
November 13th, 1823. A period of normality and reestablishment of development
begins for Madrid.
King Carlos IV (1748 - 1819), betrayed by his son
by his wife with favourite Manuel Godoy and by Napoleón.
At Retiro park it was built, for the
exhibition of exotic and wild animals, an animal house; the Music Conservatory
is created; the Stock Exchange is founded; the Turtle fountain to be placed at
Red de San Luis is ended, and Puerta del Sol and adjacent streets are enlighten.
Part of magnificent Retiro park was opened
to public under absolutist monarch's decision, which allowed madrilenians to
know, enjoy and value with justice the space reserved until then for monarchs,
their families and guests.
Two architects, Juan de Villanueva pupils,
dominated official constructions and set the guidelines of the urban
architecture: López Aguado and González Velázquez. If first
one ideas were followed at the Retiro, the second's gave expression to Plaza de
González Velázquez conceived
for this square a circular space, delimited on one side by the Royal Palace,
already existing, and on the other side by the Royal Theatre, which should be
built on the space still being occupied by the old Caños del Peral
theatre, where, provisionally, Spanish Courts had met on 1814, before they were
definitively dissolved by the monarch.
This architect also took part in some other
projects, such as Retiro's pier, the 2nd of May heroes obelisk, the Cristo de El
Pardo church or the Medicine Royal College, located at Calle de Atocha, on which
some other architects were also involved.
Antonio López Aguado, who was formed
at San Fernando Fine Arts Academy and boarding school at Rome, took part in two
of the most representative buildings of this period: Royal Theatre and Toledo
This gate was witness and direct victim of
all politic ups and downs during the first third of 19th century. King José
Bonaparte - well known as José I -
placed the first stone, introducing a copy of the Bayonne Constitution, as well
as some other reminders. On 1813, when French left, politic changed and the
buried symbols were replaced.
The first stone was now accompanied with a
copy of the Cádiz Constitution and some constitutional coins. The arrival
of fernandian absolutism modified again the symbols to be buried at Toledo Gate.
They were Madrid Diary newspaper, Foreign Guide and an almanac.
King Fernando VII (1784 - 1833), representing the
chased the freedoms obtained by Cádiz Courts.
It is slow building up promoted that on
1820, after Riego rebellion and the return to the constitutional government,
buried remainders would be changed again. But the same happened on 1824 with the
return to the absolutism, been the built finished on 1827.
To the eyes of the madrilenians it was
curious and shocking this remainders "dance"
and this interest to perpetuate the memory. This was the last gate and
monumental entrance built in Madrid, which still was used as enter and exit
control during 19th century.
Fernando VII death on October 24th, 1833,
when his daughter Isabel was roughly three years old, let through a long regency
which besides had to face a civil war promoted by carlists, who did not accept a
woman's succession to the throne.
The liberalism, was making its way and quite
soon economic and politic decisions began to be made, helping the raising of the
bourgeoisie to more relevant positions.
A political measure of great social
repercussion was the Mendizabal "Disentail"
on 1837, following the suppression of religious orders. The biggest repercussion
was on the country side, due to the modification of many field hectares, but it
also impressed the city.
Three consequences can be mentioned:
First of all, soil liberalization, which
allowed to open new streets and squares, lightening the urban framework.
Secondly, the substitution of disentailed
buildings with new housing others, as they were beginning to be profitable, and
which in the course of time and modifying some laws, became even more
The third one, the changes on the use of
religious buildings, which became to be occupied by civil or military
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