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Monday, November 05, 2012 (read 1079 times)

Madrid Itinerary: Plaza de Cibeles, Puerta de Alcalá and Parque del Retiro

by Lauren

Plaza De Cibeles
The Plaza De Cibeles is a famous square in Madrid, renowned for the Cibeles fountain which portrays two lions pulling a chariot carrying the Roman Goddess of fertility. Other famous buildings in the plaza include The Bank of Spain (which supervises the entire Spanish banking system); the Palacio de Buenavista (which houses the Army Headquarters); the Palacio de Linares (which has been categorized as “Property of Cultural Interest”) and the Palacio de Cibeles (which, along with the Cibeles Fountain, has become a symbolic monument in the city).

Puerta de Alcalá
The Puerta de Alcalá is the most photographed of all the gates in Madrid. It is situated in the Plaza de la Independencia and if you were to look through its archways, you would see the “Cibeles fountain”. The impressive gate replaced an older, less extravagant version built by the king of Spain in honor of his wife. The Puerta de Alcalá comprises five archways and ten columns. The three main archways are each adorned with a lions head. Nowadays, the Puerta de Alcalá is not used; it is simply a monument and tourist attraction in Madrid.  Notably, the Puerta de Alcalá was once hit by shrapnel from a cannon and the imprints can till be seen today. Furthermore, Katy Perry and Linkin Park both sung live from the Puerta de Alcalá during the MTV awards in 2010.

The Buen Retiro Park
The Spanish Royal Family used to own The Buen Retiro Park (one of the largest parks in Madrid) until it was opened to the public in the late nineteenth century. When looking around the park, one can see a variety of interesting monuments and sculptures including The Fountain of the Fallen Angel which was inspired by Paradise Lost – poem by John Milton in which Adam and Eve get tempted by Satan (aka the Fallen Angel) and end up being thrown out of The Garden Of Eden. The sculpture can be found in the Rose Garden.

Paseo de los Estatuas
Also, in the Paseo de los Estatuas, there are some monuments of past kings of Spain and The Forest Of The Departed pays tribute to those who lost their lives in the 11/03 Madrid Attacks. There is a bandstand in the middle of the park, and every Sunday throughout the summer months, The Banda Sinfónica De Madrid plays there free of charge. Also, when there is warm weather, it is possible to rent a paddle boat on The Retiro Pond and there are puppet shows and fortune tellers to be enjoyed by all.

Keywords: madrid,madrid spain,spain capital,what to do in madrid,what to see in madrid

Posted In: Spain, Tourism, Culture


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