The girder of peace in Madrid, Spain

The broken girder was refashioned into a symbol of peace.

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), the Telefónica building, which played a key role in telecommunications, on the Gran Vía in Madrid was a frequent target of air raids. While the building itself was successfully hit, there were also a number of bombs and mortar shells that fell in the surrounding area, missing their target by a few meters.

One of those mortar shells ended up across the street in a building that currently is a hotel. The mortar shell blew a hole in the girder, yet the structural integrity of the building held despite the damage. 

It was not until 2016 when said building underwent a complete renovation that the hole in the girder was found. The international hotel chain that purchased the building decided to keep the beam the way it was and use it as a decorative element, a piece of art that represents peace and unity.


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