Plaza de Cibeles. Plaza in Madrid, Spain

Plaza de Cibeles

Plaza in Madrid, Spain

Cibeles desde el Ayuntamiento (Madrid) Photo © Miguel Diaz

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Plaza de Cibeles

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The Plaza de Cibeles is arguably the most beautiful of all great public squares in Madrid, Spain. The monumental Cibeles Fountain that stands in the middle of the heavily trafficked – unfortunately – square is one of the icons of the city. It depicts Cibele, the Greek goddess of nature and fertility, holding a key and scepter while being pulled in chariot by two lions. Several other majestic buildings surround the Plaza de Cibeles, including the Banco de España, the Palacio de Buenavista, and the Palacio de Linares. The most striking and notable building, however, is the Cibeles Palace, also known as the Palacio de Comunicaciones or City Hall of Madrid. Originally named ‘Plaza de Madrid’, the square changed names twice and received its current name in 1900.

The Plaza de Cibeles’ fountain has unofficially been adopted by the fans of Madrid soccer team, Real Madrid, who after league and cups wins, meet around and sometimes even in and on the monument.

History

The area used to be part of a wooded axis that separated central Madrid from several palace complexes and monasteries just outside the city center. The axis was redesigned first by King Philip II in 1570 and later by Charles III in the 18th century. The Cibeles Fountain was designed by Ventura Rodriguez (Wikipedia Article) and constructed between 1777 and 1782. The surrounding buildings date from between the late 18th century and the early 20th century.

Visiting Plaza de Cibeles

The Plaza de Cibeles lies in the east of the Madrid city center and is a major landmark in the city. Most visitors visit it on their way from central Madrid to the Buen Retiro Park or the Prado Museum, which both lie nearby. The Cibeles Palace is a much-photographed building, as is the Cibeles Fountain. Other impressive structures around the square that are well-worth seeing (and photographing) are the Banco de España (the Bank of Spain), the Buenavista Palace (headquarters of the Spanish army), and the Palace of Linares (Wikipedia Article) (a cultural center and art museum).

How to Get There

The square is located at the intersection of Paseo del Prado, Paseo de Recoletos, and Calle de Alcalá. This symbolic monument can be reached on foot from anywhere in the city center, or by subway on line M2 to the Banco de España stop.

Similar and Nearby Landmarks

Other major squares in Madrid are the Plaza Mayor, the Puerta del Sol, and the Plaza de España Madrid.

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Author: bramreusen. Last updated: Apr 02, 2015

Pictures of Plaza de Cibeles

Cibeles con el ayuntamiento/Cibeles and town hall - Plaza de Cibeles
Cibeles con el ayuntamiento/Cibeles and town hall - Plaza de Cibeles. Photo by Turismo Madrid

Plaza de Cibeles. - Plaza de Cibeles
Plaza de Cibeles. - Photo by HausOf_Diegoo

Vista de la plaza cibeles de noche/night view of the Plaza Cibeles - Plaza de Cibeles
Vista de la plaza cibeles de noche/night view of the Plaza Cibeles - Plaza de Cibeles. Photo by Turismo Madrid

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