The Ministry of Time in Madrid
One of the shows that my partner and I watched on Netflix before moving to Madrid was the excellent El Ministerio del Tiempo (The Ministry of Time). It’s a show about a government department that sends agents through time to protect Spanish history from changes.
Just today, I found out that the series has been commissioned for a fourth season, to air in 2020, which was a total surprise since the show wasn’t renewed after the third season in 2017. So to celebrate, here are some of the locations from the show that fans can visit in Madrid.
Let’s kick things off with a little beer and tapas.
The first episode of the show focusses on the recruitment to the ministry of paramedic Julián Martínez, who will become one of the main characters. There’s a bar that he frequents in a few episodes, including the first, and where a couple of important points in his life happen.
Bar Benteveo is the bar used for those scenes. When we first moved to Madrid, Clare and I decided to visit the bar. I pulled up a photo from the show to check that we were right about it being the place. It turns out we’d sat down at the table where Julián gives Maite her birthday present.
Anyway, this is a nice place to go for a drink and a snack. It’s not too far off the typical ‘no-frills’ bar that we love (see the excellent No Frills Madrid blog for some of the best bars of that type) and the staff have always been friendly whenever we’ve been.
You can find the bar on the corner of Calle de Santa Isabel (the street Cine Doré is on) and Calle de San Eugenio. Nearest Metro is Antón Martín (line 1), but Lavapies (line 3) is also fairly close (just walk up Calle Zurita)
At the end of the first season, the agents meet Federico García Lorca, painter Salvador Dalí and filmmaker Luis Buñuel.
The student accommodation that they live at, and which features in the episode is on Calle de Pinar, just behind the Museum of Natural Sciences (which is also well worth a visit) and next to the foundation that bears Lorca’s name.
It’s a student dorm, so don’t expect to see much, but if you’re visiting the museum anyway, you might want to take a look.
Gregorio Marañón (lines 7 and 10) is the nearest Metro, though Republica Argentina (line 6) and Nuevos Ministerios (lines 6, 8, and 10) are also not too far.
Palace of Fernán Nuñez
This palace never actually appeared as itself but instead served as both where Himmler stayed in Spain and where Velázquez painted Las Meninas.
Currently, this is partly decorated as a lavish palace and partly converted into offices for the Spanish railways.
You can find it on Calle de Santa Isabel, just around 130m or so further along than Bar Benteveo. In fact, many of the street scenes are filmed on either Santa Isabel or side streets off it.
It’s pretty much in the middle of a triangle formed by the stations Antón Martín (line 1), Lavapies (line 3), and Estación del Arte (line 1).
Museo del Ferrocarril
While we’re on the subject of railways, the railway museum also featured on the show as the station at Hendaye (just on the French side of the border) where Franco met Hitler.
If you like trains, then you’ll love the museum. It also regularly hosts events, such as the Mercado de Motores.
If you want to take a look, it’s close to Delicias station (line 3), but is also not far from Arganzuela-Planetario (line 6).
Talamanca del Jarama
If you want to go outside of Madrid, then you could do worse than this town, which served as many of the late fifteenth and sixteenth-century locations on the show.
In particular, you may recognise it as Toledo in 1492, Salamanca in 1520, or Lisbon in 1588. However, please be aware that many of the shots on location involved some green-screen work to add to the scenes, so most of the locations look a lot more modern in real life than in the show.
There are regular buses from the station at Plaza de Castilla, which is also on Metro lines 1, 9, and 10.
Palacio de la Duquesa de Sueca
Finally, the list wouldn’t be complete without the headquarters of the Ministry itself.
If you’ve not seen the show, the entrance to the Palace of the Duchess of Sueca, in the Plaza del Duque de Alba doesn’t look like much. It’s been closed for years, and at the time of writing is currently undergoing some sort of works.
However, fans of the show will recognise the doorway as leading into the Ministry. Even the graffiti on the door is mostly unchanged in the four years since the show first aired.
Unfortunately, the palace has long been abandoned, so all you can do is look at the doorway from the outside. Unless of course, this is just a cover story, to protect the Ministry from snoopers.
You can find the doors on Calle del Duque de Alba, which is pretty much a straight line between the Metro stations La Latina (line 5) and Tirso de Molina (line 1).
If you were already a fan of the show, I hope you enjoyed this brief look at some of the locations. If youve never seen the show, I hope this has inspired you to give it a go.
Let me know if you know of any locations in Madrid that I’ve missed.