Plaza de Cibeles is a place very dear to an important slice of the Madrid population: in fact, here is the monument around which the fans of the Real Madrid to celebrate the victories of their favorite team.
Other sporting celebrations take place in this square, such as those for the victories of the national football team and the national basketball team, but it is not only the sporting passion that makes this place interesting.
On Plaza de Cibeles some of the symbolic buildings of Madrid and from here starts the Paseo del Arte, the famous street along which the three great museums of the city are concentrated, which alone make the Spanish capital an unmissable destination.
As if that weren't enough to make Plaza de Cibeles a must see in every holiday in Madrid, here is also one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the city.
What to see in Plaza de Cibeles
The most famous monument of Plaza de Cibeles is the one that gives it its name, or the fountain placed in the center of the square. Work of the sculptors Francisco Gutiérrez, Roberto Michel and Miguel Ximénez, it depicts the goddess Cybele, symbol of the creative force of nature, sitting on a chariot pulled by two lions.
Made in 1777, the fontana di Cibele it was moved to this square five years later: today it is a symbol of Madrid and it is around the goddess that the fans gather in celebration.
The name of the square also bears the Palazzo Cibeles, a splendid building with a high tower, home to the current town hall and a cultural center dedicated to the city and urban life with the bizarre name of CentroCentro.
Also known as Communications palace, this monumental building mixes neo-Gothic, Spanish regional styles and the ingenious insights of architects and engineers such as Gustave Eiffel and Otto Wagner.
Inaugurated in 1909, it was immediately recognized as a “total” work of art in which every detail forms an artistic complex functional to the original purpose of the building as Casa de Correos (the headquarters of the Post Office); only since 2007 has it become the seat of the town hall.
On the eighth floor of the building is the Madrid viewpoint, a panoramic terrace from which you can enjoy a 360 ° view of the city. It is a truly exceptional vantage point, which allows you to admire the Gran Vía which joins Calle Alcalá, the magnificent Retiro Park and the Paseo de la Castellana.
Others splendid palaces overlooking the Plaza de Cibeles I'm:
- Linares Palace: commissioned by the Marquis of Linares, it was built in 1900 and is now home to Casa America, a cultural institution dedicated to cultural relations between Spain and Latin America.
- Bank of Spain: another administrative building, headquarters of the Bank of Spain. Opened in 1881, it has an uninteresting facade but is richly decorated inside.
- Buenavista Palace: XNUMXth century palace surrounded by a large garden, it was the residence of the Dukes of Alba. Today it is home to the army headquarters.
A bit of history
Until the eighteenth century the square looked very different from how we see it now and had the function of separating the royal buildings from the religious ones.
It was Charles III who wanted to change the appearance of the square, giving the job to Ventura Rodrìguez and José de Hermosilla, two court architects. Between the eighteenth and the end of the nineteenth century all the most important palaces and monuments were built.