Plaza de España - Plaza de España information and pictures
The Plaza de España
is a busy urban expanse of green grass, soothing fountains, a serene reflecting pool and a famous statue celebrating Spanish author, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and his endearing character, Don Quixote. Located at the junction of the upscale shopping boulevard, Gran Via
and Calle Princesa, the Plaza is a popular meeting spot and is often filled with sunbathers and locals enjoying an alfresco repast.
The Plaza is also noted for its nearby modern skyscrapers, Edificio de España and Torre de Madrid, which present a stark contrast to the enjoyable old world ambience of this Spanish square. The towering edifice, Torre de Madrid enjoyed the distinction, for many years, as the world’s tallest concrete building.
The site of the Plaza de España has long played a role as a public space in Madrid
. The area was the site of the infamous French firing squads in 1808 and housed former military barracks. At the turn of the twentieth century, architects Teodoro Anasagasti and Mateo Inurria were commissioned to design a proper city square. Anasagasti is also known for his design of Madrid’s Teatro Pavón, still a popular site for theatrical productions.
The Cervantes, Don Quixote Monument
- “In a place at La Mancha, which name I do not want to remember, not very long ago lived a country hidalgo…”so began Cervantes’ famous 17th century novel, “The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha.” Long recognized as one of the best fictional novels ever written, it is fitting that a tribute to the famous Spaniard, Cervantes and the iconic character of Don Quixote was created in a Madrid square named the Plaza de España. Architects Rafael Martínez Zapatero and Pedro Muguruza designed the Cervantes monument in 1928. Sculptor, Lorenzo Coullaut Valera created the statues. Federico Coullaut-Valera Mendigutia, the son of the original sculptor completed the monument in 1957.
The Cervantes monument is a towering stone obelisk topped with a giant statue of Cervantes peering down at bronze statues of his literary creations, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Two stone statues of Quixote’s “true love” Aldonza Lorenzo and Dulcinea del Toboso appear on either side of the monument. With Quixote on horseback and Panza on his trusty mule overlooking a reflecting pool, surrounded by olive trees, the monument is recognized as a whimsical and beloved landmark.
How to get to Plaza de España: By Subway to Plaza de España station; Line 2,3,10
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