The Plaza de Cibeles is one of those places that are an essential visit in the capital of Spain. A space that brings everything together to attract the eyes, since it is monumental, it is beautiful, it is a place of passage among other Madrid attractions and there are also traditions that surround this square. In short, it is absolutely mandatory to visit it during a trip to Madrid.
Cibeles Square, crossroadsCibeles Fountain
The first thing we have to comment on the Plaza de Cibeles is its location within the heart of Madrid. And is that here are joined two of the most elegant and classic walks of the metropolis: the Paseo del Prado, which arrives from Atocha and the famous museum, and the Paseo de Recoletos, which continues to the spacious Plaza de Colón and la Castellana.
And those two walks are cut by one of the most traditional Madrid arteries: the Alcala street that on one side would lead us to the Puerta del Sol, while on the other it ascends to the Puerta de Alcala and then flank the Retiro park. Anyway, as we said,we are in an authentic epicenter of Madrid life.
But it is not a simple place of passage. No. Cibeles Square has enough attractions to become a long stop during Madrid tours. And is that here you can see several palaces, gardens and, above all, a sculpture in the center that articulates traffic and attracts the eyes.
The source of the goddess CibelesCibeles Fountain
That sculpture is that of the Cibeles fountain. A work that was made there by the year 1782 and that neither more nor less was designed by one of the most important illustrated creators of Spain: Ventura Rodríguez. An architect whose footprints are also seen in other places in the capital, such as the Royal Palace.
The goddess Cibeles it is the divinity of the earth. While in the neighboring fountain of Neptune the god of the sea is represented. Originally, both were closer to each other, but now they are in separate places, where they have become the meeting points of the two main football teams in the city.
«Goodbye, Madrid; Goodbye your meadow and fountains that flow nectar, raining ragweed ... »
-Fragment of «Trip of the Parnassus», by Miguel de Cervantes-
In the corners of the Plaza de Cibeles
The fountain occupies the center of the square and Around it four corners are generated, each occupied by a prominent building, which is why there are always beautiful photos to take here.
The Bank of SpainBank of Spain
One of those charismatic buildings is the headquarters of the Bank of Spain. A huge construction of the late nineteenth century, and that has three facades. The two longest on Calle Alcalá and Paseo del Prado. However, the narrowest, which overlooks the Plaza de Cibeles, is the most iconic and recognizable.
The Palace of CommunicationsMadrid Palace of Communications
This other great palace also has a curious floor plan, but in this case the facade that overlooks the Plaza de Cibeles is much more grandiloquent. Despite its appearance, we are facing a building of the early twentieth century.
A very dynamic eclectic style work that today has a completely renovated interior since It is the seat of the City Hall.
The House of AmericaHouse of america
Another construction that has changed its use over time is the Casa de América, which occupies the corner between Calle Alcalá and Recolectos. And is that This active cultural center is currently born as a residence. Although no one lives here anymore, except the old ghosts that mystery friends say are trapped within its walls.
The Army Headquarters
Of the four corners of the Plaza de Cibeles the most vegetal is the one occupied by the Army Headquarters, whose gardens surround the Buenavista Palace. In this case, given its military use it is obvious that it is not a visitable placeIn fact, the whole fence surrounding this property is striking.
In short, if you travel to the Spanish capital soon you must not forget to take a complete tour of the Plaza de Cibeles, one of the most representative places in the city.