Gran Via, Madrid, 1957

APRIL 1957 – View across Madrid, Spain, with the Calle Gran Via leading up to the Plaza del Callao. Scan © Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

I love historic images that show cities or landscapes from unusual perspectives in pre-digital times. Heck, even unusual perspectives in digital times are exciting. But the thought that someone from the family travelled from Germany to Madrid in 1957, found this fantastic perspective, took out his trusted analog camera and captured this view for eternity on film – this fact is truly exciting.

This image is well composed and the high resolution scan is sufficiently sharp, even if coming from an old print. The Calle Gran Via used to be (and probably still is) the High Street of Madrid with many luxury shops, high-end retailers and excellent hotels. On the image we see busy traffic without traffic jam, a double decker bus.

It’s also interesting to compare the locations from the past with the present and find out where, exactly, the photographer has taken a photo. This photo must have been taken in a building at the corner Calle Del Gral. Mitre and Gran Via, probably from a roof or roof terrace. Despite the slightly pessimistic look of the black and white print, it must have been an impressive view without doubt.

The high resolution image

Capture DateApril 1957
LocationMadrid, Spain
Image Source7.5 x 10 cm black & white print
Digital Image SourceEPSON Perfection 4870 Photo
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, AdobeRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions4478 x 3148 Pixels
CopyrightScan © by Mark Zanzig/

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