Factor street , a little-known street in Madrid with a historic enclave and wonderful views
Madrid is a city with streets that already draw the attention just because of their name. The name of the streets was at first due to the neighbors use and habits. Calle Mayor, Calle Bordadores (taylors), Pasajez de San Ginés, made all the sense in the world four or five centuries ago, but there are other streets with slightly more curious or less intuitive names as the Factor street. It is worth nothing that the names of the streets of Madrid were not made official until 1835.
In this article we will talk about this street:
Factor street is neither the most important nor the most beautiful street in Madrid, but precisely because it is so little known, it is worth shining some light on it. Located between Calle Mayor and Plaza de Oriente, it has a gentle slope in its southern part with a few stairs in the northern part. It could be divide into a more typical southern madrileño-looking part with the Italian Institute of Culture and Casa Ciríaco, and a totally exceptional northern part for the view it offers.
Here we have the best perspective of the Almudena Cathedral.:
A privileged view that looks to the west, ideal both in the morning and sunset. At night the illumination is still perfect and the silence gives the atmosphere a feeling of unreality and one could tell to be alone with the Cathedral. It is a minimal slope with an greatly far better view than the one you have at street level in the Plaza de Armas or in Bailén street. The Royal Palace has a very good photo and in the distance we can see perfectly on a clear day the Casa de Campo, Aravaca, Pozuelo de Alarcón or the funfair, as well as the Sierra de Guadarrama closing the panorama in the distance. The street was also the exact layout of the Islamic wall, so if we look towards the cathedral area, we would be looking towards the “medina”.
Formerly called Calle de los Panes, Calle del Factor receives its name because Fernán López de Ocampo lived there, a “factor” of Felipe II related to Ruy Gómez de Silva, who would be the husband of the Princess of Éboli. When moving the capital to Madrid in 1561, the Royal Treasury was established in the city. The factor was the one that kept the accounts of the taxes, goods and income of the Crown.
We also recommend going up here on special occasions such as November 9, Almudena Day, but especially in the parade of the Royal Guard. It takes place on the first Wednesday of each month with the exception of January, August and September at 12 pm. It is worth going to see the parade of the incoming guard, the outgoing guard and the music band that later plays for a while at the Puerta del Príncipe of the Royal Palace (it is on Bailén street but to understand each other more easily you have to go to the Plaza de Oriente).
We encourage you to join one of our free tour Madrid through this wonderful area of Madrid and discover more secrets or unknown jewels of the city with us.