Fuente de Cibeles, Madrid!

Another emblematic monument of my beloved Madrid that I have only written in pieces embedded in general posts is the Fuente de Cibeles. Omg , I need to do a post on it alone! So much the affinity of mine to the city and lived not far from it.!! Well , better late than never as the saying goes, here is my take on the Fuente de Cibeles of Madrid.


A bit of history I like

It was conceived within an urban remodeling plan in the 18C, on the initiative of King Carlos III, who planned to beautify the kingdom’s capital according to the aesthetics of neoclassicism. The project included a series of sculpted fountains with classical mythological motifs such as the Neptune Fountain, and Apollo Fountain, a Museum of Natural Sciences , now the Prado Museum, the Royal Botanical Garden, the landscaping of the area and other proposals that ultimately did not materialized. Due to the beauty and amenity of the square, once it was finished, it was known among the people of Madrid as the Salón del Prado or the Prado room, and immediately became one of the most popular squares in Madrid.


From a historical anecdote, it seems that this fountain was originally intended for the Gardens of La Granja de San Ildefonso in Segovia (see post), but when the wide Paseo del Prado began to be remodeled, the fountain was placed in front of the Buenavista Palace, very close to it, at the entrance of the Paseo de Recoletos and looking towards the other great fountain, that of Neptune. Between it and the palace there were some small buildings where the Militia Inspection and later the Presidency of the Council of Ministers was located, until in 1780, the whole group burned down; and the fountain of Cibeles was installed in 1782, however it did not work until 1792.

In February 1895 the Fuente de Cibeles was moved to the center of the square adding certain modifications such as the elaboration of a new group in the back and placement on a platform of four steps three meters above the ground, locating the goddess looking at the first section of Calle de Alcalá (my street!). Until 1981 there was no restoration, but the last one was done completely in 2016.


And a bit more on the Fuente de Cibeles fountain.

The fountain of Cibeles sits in the Plaza de Cibeles square, and its one of the most beautiful in Madrid.  It sits in the junction of Paseo del Prado,and Calle de Alcala (my street !). The sculpture fountain is named after Cybil, the Greco-Roman goddess of nature, showing her sitting in a chariot drawn by two lions holding a scepter and a key. The pull of the wild lions symbolize the power of nature or of the goddess, the figures took about 10K kg of stones . The Fuente de Cibeles; is the work of architect Ventura Rodriguez and sculptors Francisco Gutierrez Arribas for the Cibeles figure, and Roberto Michel for the lions, Miguel Jimenez for the decoration elements of the chariot.


Around the square or Plaza de Cibeles ,you will see important buildings (many written already see posts) ;such as the Palacio de Communicaciones (post office)  or Cibeles or CentroCentro according to the times ,  and today its the mayor’s office of Madrid, built between 1905-1917. At the northeast side of the square you have the Palacio de Linares, built in 1875, now houses the Casa de America or House of America displaying a collection of paintings from Latin America artists. In the northwest portion of the square, you have the guarded Army headquarters which is house in the building of the old Palacio de Buenavista, first ordered built by the Duchess of Alba in 1777. On the opposite corner you have the Banco de España or the Bank of Spain, built between 1884-1891.  The Cibeles is the meeting place for all victories of the famous Real Madrid CF football/Soccer team every time any championship is won, which has been often. FIFA club of the 20C and still battling for the 21st, as well as  IFFHS  European club of the 20C. Reach it on metro Banco de España line 2 or Bus lines 14 and  27 very nice ride and take you to Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

For reference the tourist office of Madrid on the Cibeles fountain in English: Tourist office of Madrid on the Cibeles fountain

This whole area is very nice for walks and wonderful architecture and history abound, not to mention very near the Retiro park as well! All part of my growing up as a teenager in my Madrid!! Memories forever and repeat every year, Madrid is it, and the Cibeles fountain is a big part of it. Hope you enjoy the tour.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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