The Temple of the Basque Ball in Madrid, Beti-Jai, is recovering. Located at number 7 of Marqués de Riscal Street in the Chamberí district, we find this 19th century jewel of neo-Mudejar style. It is the only sports building of that time left standing. The ball game was a very popular sport at the end of the 19th century, in which you bet money.
The Spanish Royal Family’s summer took place in San Sebastian, where there was a great love for this game and where they had the aim to bring it to Madrid. The executive José Arana asked the architect Joaquín de Rucoba to build a similar place to the Beti-Jai in San Sebastián. The works began in 1893 and opened a year later.
Beti-Jai ceased to be used as Basque ball temple in 1918. Then, it had several uses, such as a vehicle factory, garage, police station, jail, warehouse, plaster factory. Improper use and the passage of time caused the building to deteriorate. In 2011, it was declared a site of Cultural Interest and, in 2015, it was acquired by the Madrid City Council. Its restoration began, and after the completion of the first phase, of which we have some photos, Madrid now has to decide what use to give it.
For more information about the Beti-Jai in Madrid.