Madrid, Spain, is known for its extensive collection of old European art, impressive architecture and traditional Spanish culture. From Museo Nacional del Prado to Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid has museums full of rich history that could entertain one’s entire visit.
For a respite from old art and palaces, however, consider taking a trip to Matadero Madrid, a contemporary arts center located a short metro ride outside of the bustling city center. Here, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant artistic culture of present-day Spain.
The direct translation of “matadero” to “slaughterhouse” gives away its gruesome past — this large complex of buildings served as a major slaughterhouse and livestock market until the 1970s, when it began to fall into disuse. The facilities underwent many years of renovations beginning in the 1990s, which resulted in the dynamic arts center that it is today.
Matadero Madrid is an experimental cultural hub teeming with site-specific art installations, film screenings, design markets, food festivals and more. Visit in the evening to enjoy a dinner at Cantina, an on-site eatery with modern European fare. After the sun sets, the spacious, empty plazas and monumental buildings give off an especially sinister feel, reminding visitors of its not-so-distant history.
Events and exhibits change often, so check their website for updates before your visit.