Plaza de Cibeles - Plaza de Cibeles information and pictures
The Plaza de Ciebeles
is a beautiful square located between two major thoroughfares, the Paseo del Prado and the Calle Alcala and surrounded with stunning examples of Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture. However, the major attraction of this plaza is the iconic 18th century Cibeles fountain or Fuente de la Cibeles, which has become a famous emblem of Madrid
. Fans and players of the Real Madrid football team use the plaza for celebratory gatherings after major championship wins.
The Cibeles Fountain
- The white marble Cibeles fountain dominates the plaza with its statue of Cibele, the Roman goddess of nature and fertility seated on a massive chariot pulled by two lions. She holds a scepter and a key in her hands. Ventura Rodriguez completed the fountain in 1782. Sculptors Francisco Gutiérrez and Roberto Michel created the fountain statuary. The Cibeles fountain once faced the nearby fountain of Neptune, until they were both moved to face towards the city center in the early part of the twentieth century.
- Each corner of the Plaza de Ciebeles holds a building of historical importance. The Communications Palace or Palacio de Comunicaciones is a stunning example of early twentieth century, ornate Art Deco architecture. This white palatial building, is often referred to as the ‘wedding cake” building because of the elaborate flourishes adorning the facade. Architects Antonio Palacios and Joaquín Otamendi completed the building in 1917 for the main Spanish Postal Service. The Communications Palace now serves as Madrid’s City Hall headquarters.
The Palace of Linares is a magnificent limestone, Baroque style building completed in 1884 by architect Carlos Colubí for the Marqués de Linares, Jose de Murga, a wealthy businessman. The palace is said to be haunted by the ghosts of Murga’s son and wife, whom tragically discovered they were half siblings.
The palace is now home to the Casa de América, a Latin American cultural center featuring a museum, paintings from artists such as, Pradilla Francisc and Manuel Dominguez and a café with an outdoor terrace, popular in the warmer months.
Other buildings of note along the Plaza de Ciebeles are: the Banco de España, the national bank of Spain’s headquarters completed in 1891 and the beautiful Palacio de Buenavista, the oldest building in the plaza, built in 1777, now serving as the headquarters for Spain’s Ministry of Defense. The Banco de España features masterpieces from artists such as, Goya and Salvador Maella. Empress Maria of Austria once resided at the Palacio de Buenavista.
How to get to Plaza de Cibeles: By Subway to Banco de España station; Line 2
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