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URBANISMO. Carlos María de Castro y ensanche de Madrid

  • Issue date: 20/04/2010
  • Printing Process: Huecograbado
  • Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
  • Size of stamp: 40,9 x 28,8 mm. (horizontal)
  • Sheet effects: 25
  • Postal value of the stamps: 0,34 €
  • Print run: 320.000

Spain devotes an issue to Town Planning with a stamp honouring Carlos María de Castro, engineer, architect and town planner of the ensanche (widening) urban development of Madrid. The stamp depicts a portrait of Carlos María de Castro belonging to the Ministry of Fomento (Public Works) and in the background features a map of the ensanche of Madrid , kept in the Archive of La villa de Madrid.




Carlos Maria de Castro participated in many public works as architect and engineer of the Ministry of Fomento.


The ensanche of Madrid was motivated by the increase in population and the social and sanitary problems that arouse due to shortage of land for house building purposes since the city had gone from 220.000 inhabitants in the early XIX century to 300.000 by the end of 1860. This resulted in Government pondering the advantages of extending the city and the Minister of Fomento, Claudio Mollano, commissioning Castro to undertake the project of widening Madrid from 800 hectares to 2.294, multiplying its surface area by three. The widening operation consisted in an orthogonal grid running from north to south which did not interfere with the city’s natural expansion towards the east and focused on: moving the urban centre from the Puerta del Sol to the Plaza de Cibeles; building rectangular mid-block open spaces and whole block parks as well as public and social buildings; setting three different widths for streets; building squares and gardens to let the air flow and improve health conditions and surrounding the ensanche by segregation moats where later on were built avenues such as Reina Victoria, Raimundo Fernandez Villaverde, Joaquin Costa, Francisco Silvela and Dr. Esquerdo. In this project were also built the residential boroughs of Castellana, Salamanca and Chamberí. The area of Delicias was destined to an industrial use, Vallehermoso for military purposes and the southern area for farming and agricultural. The process of the ensanche was slow and continued until 1930.


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