History and tradition of Cortylandia
Cortylandia is an animated decoration on the façade of El Corte Inglés store near Plaza Callao. The name itself is a reference of this popular Spanish department store. This animatronic children´s show was first conceived in the 70s as publlicity for the store´s expansion.At the time,the decorations and themes were less sophisticated. The first Cortylandia ever was inagurated in 1979. To mark the occassion, a patch of African savannah and a real train borrowed from the Theme Park of Madrid were used. Since then, Cortylandia has become a firm tradition and a special childhood memory for many millenials today.In fact,the show is celebrated in all the flagship El Corte Inglés stores throughout Spain. The show is still mainly made up of a stage with figures, puppets and decoration that move to music. The theme is changed annually. This show normally begins in mid-end of November till about the 6th of January. For many people,young and old,Cortylandia marks the milestone for the beginning of Christmas in Madrid.
The show is free and it can get really crowded so if you would like to come and enjoy this typical Madrileña tradition, be sure to arrive early. The capacity of the people at the main Cortylandia venue in Madrid is normally 3000 at a time and if you are bringing children,you would probably have to carry them in your arms or on your shoulders.
Although the set and some of the decoration of Cortylandia changes every year, the lyrics of the typical song stays the same.You can watch and hear the song here.
Remember that the show doesn´s run consinuously. There are a series of passes with fixed schedules; each pass takes about 15 minutes. If you arrive in the vicinity of this area and sea crowds of people,then its a big sign that the show is about to start.
Cortylandia 2017 Schedule:
From Monday to Thursday: passes at 12.00, 13.00, 14.00, 18.30, 19.30 and 21.00
Fridays: 12.00, 13.00, 14.00, 17.00, 18.00, 19.00, 20.00 and 21.00
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 12.30, 13.30, 14.30, 17.00, 18.00, 19.00, 20.00 and 21.00
Tuesday 5th and Thursday 7th of December: 12.30, 13.30, 14.30, 17.00, 18.00, 19.00, 20.00 and 21.00
December 24th and 31st: 12.00, 13.00, 14.00, 15.00, 18.00, 19.00 and 19.30
December 25: 5pm, 6pm, 7pm and 8pm
January 1st: 6pm, 7pm and 8pm
Cover Image by M. Martín Vicente (Flickr)