Barrio de Salamanca is the most refined result of Madrid’s expansion plan in three zones, of which Salamanca would be located in the east of the capital. The name of the district is due to José de Salamanca y Mayol, Marquis of Salamanca, who was in charge of the construction and promotion of the buildings with beautiful façades with wide entrances for carriages to be able to enter, with interior patios and a maximum height of 3 or 4 levels.
Unfortunately, the Marquis died bankrupt without being able to see the neighbourhood finished as it was him who had to finance all the construction works from his own pocket. Each new house was supplied with the newest technologies of the time, and these were the first buildings in Madrid to have electric light, water heaters, coal-burning stoves, bathrooms with toilets, lifts, phones, which of course, brought the wealthiest families of the city to live in this new area.
From the Second half of the 19th Century, the Salamanca neighbourhood was already the favourite district for the bourgeoisie, which started to establish in the area adding magnificent residential palaces. Its reputation of exquisiteness has lived on, a nowadays it’s one of the most exclusive districts in Madrid, and one of the highest standards of living in Europe. It’s frequented by the highest classes and ultra conservatives in Madrid. Salamanca is associated with wealth and good taste, and it’s where you can find the high couture shops, private art galleries, luxury hotels and prestigious restaurants.
The most important streets are Calle Goya, Calle Velázquez, and especially, Serrano Street, the golden mile of Madrid, where you can find the most amount of window displays of jeweller’s, boutiques, and luxury shops.