The cultural space of Conde Duque offers more than 58.777 square meters of infrastructures dedicated to culture. In addition to several exhibition halls, it has an auditorium and a theatre where various performing arts performances are regularly held. It is also home to the ARchivo de la Villa, the Historical Library, the Municipal Library and the Biblioteca Digital Memoria of Madrid.
With a stunning pink facade, the building that houses the cultural centre was once an important barracks created at the end of 1717 at the request of Felipe V, first King of the House of Bourbon. Completed in 1730, the then Royal Corps guards barracks can be considered the last great example of Madrid architecture prior to the introduction of the dominant Italian style from the construction of the Royal Palace.
Known as ‘the Conde Duque barracks’, it is named after the Earl of Lemos and Duke of Berwick and Liria (1718-1785), descendant of the Kings of England and married to a daughter of the Duke of Alba, whose family retained ownership of the lands until 1943. A devastating fire destroyed it partially in 1869 and it was not until 1969, the year in which the city of Madrid, acquired it that it began its rehabilitation.
Equally relevant is the new emphasis on the democratization of knowledge through the digital availability of these data. Now any student, scholar or interested individual has access to some of the most important historical and archaeological specimens, buildings and cities in the world. These efforts bring our global cultural heritage to everyone, while helping to ensure the preservation of our heritage in an increasingly hostile world.