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Calle Gran Via or The Gran Vía ("Great Way") street is an urban esplanade in central Madrid, Spain. It leads from Calle de Alcalá, close to Plaza de Cibeles, to Plaza de España. The street, sometimes referred to as the "Spanish Broadway", is one of the city's most important shopping areas, with a large number of hotels and large movie theatres; however, since the late 2000s, many of these theatres have been replaced by shopping centres.

The Gran Vía serves as a showcase of early 20th-century revival architecture, with architectural styles ranging from Vienna Secession style, Plateresque, Neo-Mudéjar, Art Deco, among others.

In the mid 19th century, Madrid's urban planners determined that a new thoroughfare should be created, connecting the Calle de Alcalá with the Plaza de España – similar to Haussmann's renovation of Paris. The project called for the demolition of many buildings in the centre of the city, earning the project the name of 'an axe blow on the map'. Decades after the first plans were revealed, ground-breaking and construction tarried causing the media to ridicule the project, cynically calling it the 'Gran Vía' or 'Great Way' or 'Big Way'.

- Wikipedia

Image by Mesut Kaya

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