Cibeles Palace. City Hall in Madrid, Spain

Cibeles Palace

City Hall in Madrid, Spain

Palacio de Comunicaciones Photo © Patrick Dobeson

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Cibeles Palace

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Centro centro, Cibeles, Madrid - Cibeles Palace
Centro centro, Cibeles, Madrid - Cibeles Palace. Photo by Miguel A. Sancho
As one the the most iconic buildings in Madrid, the beautiful architecture of Cibeles Palace adorns the southeastern corner of Plaza de Cibeles, where the busy Calle de Alcalá (Wikipedia Article) and Paseo del Prado intersect. The palace and the plaza get their name from the famous marble fountain that was built in 1782. The central design of the fountain depicts the Roman Goddess of nature, Cybele, riding a chariot pulled by a pair of lions. The neoclassical fountain and the ornately designed Cibleles Palace are iconic symbols of Madrid and are frequently visited by tourists in the city.

While Cibeles Fountain was built over 200 years ago on the orders of King Carlos III, Cibeles Palace was a more recent addition to the plaza. The building was designed and constructed in 1909 by Antonio Palacios, and its impressive stark-white façade became an instantly recognizable landmark of Madrid. The building has three towers, the tallest of which is adorned with a clock and reaches over 131 feet in height. The design of the building combines high-Gothic style with flourishes of neoclassical elements and features several long pinnacles that rise from the corners of the towers.

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Cibeles Palace. Photo by Marc

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00palacio de cibeles 051 -1 - Cibeles Palace. Photo by Jose Javier Martin Espartosa
The building was originally referred to as the ‘Palacio de Comunicaciones’ (Palace of Communication), and served as the center for the Spanish postal service for almost a century when Madrid’s city hall moved from its former location at the Plaza de la Villa in 2007. With its function no longer being related to communication, the building’s name was changed to Cibeles Palace. In 1993, Cibleles Palace was officially designated as a Spanish Property of Cultural Interest.

Along with Cibeles Palace, several other important buildings surround the central Cibeles Fountain and border the plaza. Across Paseo del Prado, the Banco de España building sits on the southwestern corner of the plaza. The building is the headquarters of the national bank and dates back to the 19th century. Opposite Cibeles Palace is Buenavista Palace, an 18th century palace which currently serves as the headquarters of the Spanish army. The last of the four buildings that surround the fountain is the Neo-Baroque Linares Palace, which dates back to 1873 and was built by the Marquis of Linares.

Cibeles Palace is centrally located in Madrid and sits between three of the city’s most emblematic neighborhoods, Retiro, Centro, and Salamanca. The palace can easily be reached by metro on line 2 at the Banco de España metro stop. Cibeles Palace can also be reached by car from Calle Alcalá, Paseo del Prado or Paseo de Recoletos.

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Author: CoryWard. Last updated: Apr 02, 2015

Pictures of Cibeles Palace

Cibeles Palace - Cibeles Palace
Cibeles Palace - Photo by imagea.org

Palacio de Comunicaciones - Cibeles Palace
Palacio de Comunicaciones - Cibeles Palace. Photo by Mark Huguet

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