The Plaza de Cibeles is a square with a neo-classical complex of marble sculptures with fountains that has become an iconic symbol for the city of Madrid. It sits at the intersection of Calle de Alcalá (running from east to west), Paseo de Recoletos (to the North) and Paseo del Prado (to the south). Plaza de Cibeles was originally named Plaza de Madrid, but in 1900, the City Council named it Plaza de Castelar, which was eventually replaced by its current name.
It is currently delimited by four prominent buildings: The Bank of Spain, the Palacio de Buenavista, the Palacio de Linares and the Cybele Palace. These constructions are located in four different neighbourhoods from three different adjacent districts: Centro, Retiro and Salamanca. In the years Cybele Palace and her fountain have become symbolic monuments of the city.
The Fountain of Cybele is found in the part of Madrid commonly called the Paseo de Recoletos. This fountain is named after Cybele, a Phrygian goddess who had a significant cult in Rome, and is seen as one of Madrid's most important symbols. The fountain depicts the goddess, sitting on a chariot pulled by two lions. The fountain was built in the reign of Charles III and designed by Ventura Rodríguez between 1777 and 1782.
The goddess and chariot are the work of Francisco Gutiérrez and the lions by Roberto Michel. The fountain originally stood next to the Buenavista Palace, and was moved to its present location in the middle of the square in the late 19th century. Up until the 19th century both the fountain of Neptune and Cybele looked directly at each other, until the city council decided to turn them round to face towards the centre of the city.
ths post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.