First photographs of the Banco de España building (1891)

First photographs of the Banco de España building (1891)

Series: The Bank’s heritage.

Author: Banco de España.

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First photographs of the Banco de España building (1891) (6 MB)


This book contains six hitherto unpublished photographs found in the Historical Archive of the Banco de España, taken at the opening ceremony of the Banco de España building in 1891. The photographs were part of the original reportage that the prestigious photographer’s studio J. Laurent y Cía. was commissioned to make for publication in the journal La Ilustración Española y Americana (Spanish and American Illustration),in the form of prints.

To provide a context for this important discovery, the book attests to the impact of the inauguration of the building, designed by the architect Eduardo de Adaro, in Plaza de Cibeles and the media coverage it received. It also analyses the means by which images were disseminated in the illustrated press at the end of the 19th century and the prestige of the Laurent studio responsible for the photographs, and reviews the history of La Ilustración Española y Americana, one of the most renowned journals of the time.

These photographs are of great documentary value, since they allow us to see what the Bank looked like originally and to discern the changes it has undergone since. To complete this view, the book includes a series of photographs taken by Luis Asín, in the 21st century, which help us to experience this impressive building as it was then and as it is now.

This publication is only available in Spanish.

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