1914

Royal National Academy Of Medicine

Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

Brief photographic tour of a 100 year-old building.

Façade of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain
The Facade
The building that houses the Royal National Academy of Medicine dates back to 1914. Its architecture is typical of the eclectic style that emerged in Spain in the mid-19th century. The work was carried out by Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, a key figure in the architecture of Madrid. The dates beside the name refer, on the left, to the start of the medical discussion group (1733) and, on the right, to the date when the building works were scheduled to be completed (1913).
Façade of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

Two Atlases stand guard at the front entrance, holding up the balcony of the floor above.

Façade of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain
Façade of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

On the upper section of the building is a sculptural group consisting of the Spanish coat of arms and two female allegorical figures symbolizing medicine and science.

Hall of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain
The First Floor
Once through the doorway, we find ourselves in a hallway lined with different shades of marble. Ahead lies the entrance to the Courtyard of Honor (Patio de Honor), and immediately in front of that is a gallery layout.
Hall of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain
Hall of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

Before reaching the stairs at the back of the hallway, there are two rooms: the Yellow Room (Salón Amarillo) on the right, and the Blue Room (Salón Azul) to the left. The stairs lead to the second floor, where the library is located.

Patio of Honor of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

In the Courtyard of Honor, there is a remarkable stained glass window made by the French manufacturer Mauméjean, and an impressive glass lampshade hanging over the center of the courtyard.

Patio of Honor of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

The door at the back leads to the Function Room (Salón de Actos).

Patio of Honor of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, March 5, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

This is the Courtyard of Honor on the day that the building was inaugurated on March 5, 1914. At that time, the floor was made of glass blocks, allowing light to filter through to the basement.

Inauguration of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina in 1914, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, March 5, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

Immortalized here is the architect Luis Cabello, with his representatives, on the day of the inauguration.

Assembly Hall of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain
The Function Room
This room is the heart of the Academy's activities. It is used, among other things, for scientific sessions, where the most prestigious doctors and scientists present their progress in various subjects. Acoustics and visibility were the main concerns of the architect, who worked hard to create the ideal conditions. The rows of chairs facing each other on the right and left are those used by the Academy's full members. The rest of the audience is separated by a gate, which would traditionally be closed at the start of each session.
Assembly Hall of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

The room is designed over two levels and can hold around 200 people. On the upper level are medallion portraits of the most famous scientists from every period.

Assembly Hall of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

Among the paintings overlooking the Function Room is a portrait of King Philip V, painted by Ramón Pulido.

The King Alfonso XIII in the take over of Prof. Manuel Márquez y Rodríguez, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, May 17th, 1916, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

The Function Room

This is the Function Room in 1916, during the formal reception ceremony when Professor Manuel Márquez Rodríguez was accepted as a full member of the Royal National Academy of Medicine, under the presidency of His Majesty King Alfonso XIII. At the presidential table, seated to his left were professors Cortezo (President of the Corporation) and Pulido, and to his right, professors Amalio Gimeno and Cortejarena.

Opening session of the course 1915 at the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, February, 1915, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

Table from the formal inaugural session of the Royal National Academy of Medicine in 1915. Chaired by His Excellency Professor Carlos María Cortezo and the Minister for Public Education, Mr Collantes. February 1915.

Assembly Hall of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

The presidential arch is crowned with a representation of Athena (goddess of science and the arts), made from plaster or artificial stone with painted gold detail.

Assembly Hall of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

The ceiling in the Function Room is decorated with artistic stained glass made by the same manufacturer as the example in the Courtyard of Honor—Mauméjean.

Yellow Room of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

Before entering the Function Room, the Academy's members would meet and talk in the room known as the Yellow Room.

Historic Library of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain
The Library
Located on the second floor, Cabello Lapiedra was always very clear that this, together with the Function Room, would be one of the building's most important rooms. It also had to be an emblematic room, to honor and commemorate the creation of the Academy in a library behind the back room of a pharmacy.
Historic Library of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

It was designed, in conjunction with the facade, to make the most of the light entering through its five large windows, giving the library its grandeur.

This large reading room is highly valued for its natural light. Take a tour!

Historic Library of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1943, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

This is the reading room in 1943. If you look closely, you will see that something has changed, besides just the chairs and tables. Look again at the previous image.

Historic Library of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

Cabello Lapiedra did not build any bookshelves because of a disagreement over the budget. In the end, the Jareño company designed and built them.

Historic Library of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

Besides the modernist lamps and other furniture in the reading room, the beautiful clock in the center of the room, made by Carlos Coppel, is particularly impressive.

Historic Library of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

In front of the reading room is a hallway that leads to other rooms within the library, where a large part of the library's stock of books is still kept.

Historic Library of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, Luis María Cabello Lapiedra, 1914, From the collection of: Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain

Another of the rooms on this floor is the Government Room (Salón de Gobierno) which, as well as housing some of the books, is used by the Academy's members as a meeting room.

Real Academia de Medicina
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Real Academia Nacional de Medicina
Museo de Medicina Infanta Margarita
Biblioteca Real Academia Nacional de Medicina
Fundación Real Academia Nacional de Medicina
Asociación de Amigos del Museo de Medicina Infanta Margarita

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