This historic train depot is the heart of transit for Madrid. Serving local as well as high-speed AVE trains, it also plays a key role in the ever-expanding railways of Europe.
I stumbled upon Madrid's first railway station, which was inaugurated on February 9, 1851, after taking the Metro back to my hotel. It was nice seeing some beauty—as Carnival had just begun and someone decided to grab my tripod in a restaurant and run off into a crowd while I was eating. Silly person forgot my quick release and will find it unusable. You win a few, you lose a few. Such is life.
Upon entering the station, you realize it is huge. They have restored part of the old station while building a new modern station to facilitate the modern high-speed trains. With this they have included some tasteful art as well as a memorial to those who died here on March 11, 2004. This was the station that had a series of trains stuffed with commuters like sardines in a can bombed. This devastating attack killed 191 people, wounding another 1,800. You would never know by walking inside now. There are two of these heads outside of the entrance to this historic depot.