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Graphic Chronicle from the Ministry of Finance (1852 - 2007) (1852 - 2007)

Chapter: "What goes on in the streets" (accessible HTML text)

Narrator: My privileged situation on Alcalá street, has allowed me to witness a great deal of acts, protests and parades throughout the years.

Image: Current view of Alcalá Street taken from the main balcony of the Ministry of Finance building. At a distance, we can see the National Post Office and Puerta del Sol.

Narrator: I remember the New Year celebrations. Thousands of people enjoying themselves close by me every New Year. I wake up to the odour of champagne, to confetti, and to some straggler who has slept on my steps.

Image: Camera travelling at street level along the pavement of Alcalá Street towards Puerta del Sol. People walking along the street pass in front of the camera, and on the right at the back, we can see the Ministry of Finance building.

Image: View of the facade of the Ministry of Finance building, the clock in Puerta del Sol, and a detailed shot of the clock at the Banco Español de Crédito building.

Narrator: I’ve also lived through many processions, as for example the religious procession for the International Eucharistic Congress in 1911.

Image: Old photograph of a religious procession in 1991 during the International Eucharistic Congress. All the kneeling priests are moving along Alcalá Street.

Narrator: Also interesting were the civic-military parades on the 2nd of May. I especially remember that of 1858 when the crown prince Francis of Asís, in the uniform of Field Marshal, accompanied the Lord Mayor.

Image: Two old photographs of the civic-military parade taken from the top of the National Post Office in Puerta del Sol.

Narrator: The popular protests of recent years have made me shudder... All that is left is a profound and sad silence once the street has spoken.

Image: 1997 photograph of the citizen demonstration against the murder of Érmua’s town councillor, Miguel Ángel Blanco. The demonstration goes along Alcalá Street and passes by the Ministry of Finance on their way to Puerta del Sol.

Image: Photograph of the citizen demonstration in Puerta del Sol against the March 11, 2004, attack. People fill the whole square and they have their arms up. Numerous signs and banners appear above the crowd.

Sound: Sound effect of a demonstration.

Image: View of the Goya Hall ceiling. We can observe all the characters represented dressed in traditional clothes from the different autonomous communities.

Image: Camera travelling around the Carlos III Hall parallel to the large table located in the centre.

Image: Picture painted by Eduardo Balaca in 1877. It represents a full length portrait of Alfonso XII, King of Spain, with his uniform of General Captain of the Army, holding the sash and the big cross from the Carlos III Order and the collar of the Toisón de Oro Order. He is standing resting his right hand on a table where the Spanish sceptre and crown can be seen.

Image: Picture painted by Manuel San Gil y Villanueva in 1878. It represents a full-length portrait of the Queen, doña María de las Mercedes de Orleans y Borbón, wife of Alfonso XII. The Queen has a long white dress decorated with bunches of daisies. She is wearing a pearl and diamond tiara and the sash of Queen María Luisa’s Real Orden de Damas Nobles.

Image: Camera travelling through the corridors of the Ministry of Finance basement.

-- End of the chapter --