Passengers Lifts, Stairlifts and Service Lifts in Madrid

Last September 25 was World Tourism Day, and the main theme was accessible tourism. A variety of pieces of equipment designed to facilitate accessibility were on display, including service lifts, passenger lifts and stairlifts. In Spain, it is estimated that 1 in 100 people use a wheelchair to get about, but the proportion we see in general is closer to 1 in 500.

Imagine then, a city like Madrid, with its high population density, its varied and plentiful cultural offerings, and endless amount of leisure activities. Now, let’s imagine that something as commonplace as stairs, in metro stations, in parks and museums… becomes an impediment, an obstacle to enjoying all that. At Vilber Elevación we are aware of what folks with mobility difficulties experience when just a few steps up or down can be a problem.

Everyone knows that the Romans are responsible for many of the inventions we enjoy today. One of these inventions is the lift. The Romans quickly realized how uncomfortable it was to climb stairs and carry heavy loads with them, so, after several attempts using pulleys to lift the heaviest of materials up to significant heights during construction,  it occurred to them to try this idea with people.

When they were ready to put this invention into practice, who would be the first person able to enjoy this luxury? The emperor, of course. It was, in fact, Nero who first installed one in his luxurious palace called the “Domus Áurea” which means “House of Gold”.

It goes without saying that the mechanism used for this lift was not the same as is used today. This lift was made of fine woods and its mechanism was a cable upon which a number of slaves would  “gladly” (or so the Emperor believed) pull.