Tuesday, September 27, 2011

La estación fantasma.

On my commute home from school yesterday afternoon, I decided to keep my eyelids up to see what I could see (mom, that Dr Seuss reference is for you). I didn't see a horse and a wagon on Mulberry Street, but I did find an abandoned (and haunted?) metro station--significantly cooler.

I instantly got chills when I saw the white and green tile and the antiquated signs, even though it was almost pitch black and I was in a rapidly moving subway car. I've always loved creepy old abandoned things--after all, when I was three, I announced to my family that I was "interested in graveyards."

The abandoned station
[photo courtesy of Wikipedia]

As soon as I climbed up into the daylight and got back to my apartment, I did some googling. I discovered that the station, Chamberí, is usually referred to as "La estación fantasma" (the haunted station). Constructed in 1919, it was one of the eight stations that formed the original Madrid Metro. In 1966, during an expansion of the metro system, the line was closed due to its proximity to the more prominent Bilbao and Iglesia lines (Iglesia is the stop nearest to my apartment.) It quickly fell into disrepair and was heavily vandalized.

Pr-renovation--circa 2006
[photo courtesy of Andén Cero]

In 2006, the station went under renovation. It is now a museum--though I've never seen anyone down there, and I pass it multiple times a day, every day.

In any case, I like driving by it and pretending that men in hats and suits and women in gloves and wool skirts are waiting in the darkness for their train.

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