Spain’s busiest railway station to be named after author Almudena Grandes

by Lorraine Williamson
Madrid train station

The name of writer Almudena Grandes, who died of cancer on 27 November at the age of 61, will soon be added to the name of Spain’s busiest train station, Puerta de Atocha. Spain’s busiest station will be renamed Puerta de Atocha- Almudena Grandes.  

This was announced by the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, to the Spanish newspaper Europa Press. Raquel Sánchez stated that the process of renaming the station has already begun. Moreover, she expressed her confidence that the change can be completed this year. The names will be integrated, just as happened in 2014 with Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport. And also in September 2020 with Chamartín-Clara Campoamor Station.  

However, it is not the only tribute to Grandes in Madrid; a street will be named after her during this year. Furthermore, a memorial plaque will be placed at her home in Calle de Larra. 

Comments from widower and Prime Minister Sánchez  

Grandes’ widower, the poet Luis García Montero, reacted on Twitter with a moving message to the writer herself; ‘Dear Almudena, I hear the Minister of Transport saying that Atocha Puerta de Atocha station will be called Almudena Grandes. It is a sensation that the trains, like our memories, know their point of departure and arrival’.  

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Prime Minister Sánchez tweeted in response to this announcement; ‘The heart of Madrid will bear the name of one of its most illustrious citizens; Puerta de Atocha- Almudena Grandes. It is the recognition of a writer who made the capital a protagonist in her works, who through her stories discovered the most intimate and sincere Madrid’. 

Tribute to women  

But, as Prime Minister Sánchez noted, it does not stop at this adjustment. The government plans to change the names of some of Spain’s most important stations over the course of this year, naming them after women who have been ‘made invisible’ by history. Furthermore, there are already some stations named after women; the one in Chamartín is named after Clara Campoamor, the one in Málaga after María Zambrano, and the one in Burgos after Rosa de Lima. Therefore, this is, Sánchez continued, ‘a very important gesture, full of symbolism’. Furthermore, it is intended to ‘make visible the government’s commitment to equality and gender policies’. Sánchez stressed that Spaniards ‘deserve a country that recognises its women’. 

It is not yet known what the full list of stations whose names will be changed will be, what the timetable is, and the cost of the measure. 

Also read: Almudena Grandes dies

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