Using somes houses near the Santa Cruz’s church, in 1543 was built the 1st jail in Madrid. Palacio de Santa Cruz was one of the hardest and more infected prison of Europe. In the past it was called Cárcel de la Corte, and there, they went to prison the upper classes, mostly nobles.
The prison was on the ground floor of the left ‘patio’, the rest was the courts (tribunales) and its dependencies.
in this prison went people like Lope de Vega, Quevedo or Espronceda.
Two of the streets who surrounded the building were called: santo Tomás street, and Salvador street.
In these streets there were some doors in which you could go out of them depending on your luck. If you went out from Santo Tomás street, you were condemned to death, that street was also known as calle del verdugo, where the executor lived.
the ones that went out through the street of Salvador street where the ones who were set free.
Life in that prison was thought, there was absence of hygienic measures and the penalties were terrible, there are testimonies of spanish and foreigner people that relate the miserable conditions of that prison.
At the beginning of the XIX century the typhus disease appeared and the authorities moved some of the prisoners to the prison El Saladero.
In 1846, the building stopped working as a prison and they destroyed it to build the nowadays known as the Palace de Santa Cruz.

Information from
-"Sede Electrónica Del Ministerio De Asuntos Exteriores Y De ..." Web. 27 Apr. 2016.

-"Es Madrid No Madriz: La Cárcel De La Corte." Es Madrid No Madriz: La Cárcel De La Corte. Web. 27 Apr. 2016. (

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