GALLOPING AROUND MADRID:THE MOST FAMOUS EQUESTRIAN MONUMENTS OF THE CAPITAL
Walking around the city centre, you are bound to notice the variety of monuments. Usually, they commemorate royals and distinguished aristocrats. Despite the amount of these monuments, there are three of them that Madrileños particularly love, and these monuments you get to see in the photos most often.
Monument to Carlos III on Puerta del Sol
The most central square of Madrid, Puerta del Sol, is always full of people. There is a grandiose monument rising above citizens and tourists hurrying away. This monument is dedicated to Carlos III, the favourite king of Spain. The monument is relatively recent, it was put here in 1993 by the decision of Madrid authorities. The monarch is wearing his parade clothes. In the right hand, he has a scroll, and with the left one, he is managing his horse. One of the most notable details is the huge pedestal of the monument, its height and length are 5 metres. The whole pedestal is covered with writings that gather the king’s great doings. Spain owes to Carlos numerous reforms that became the foundation for the kingdom’s prosperity for many years ahead. He also built many monasteries and school around the country as well as the plumbing system and street lighting. Madrid will always be grateful to the monarch for such emblems as the building of the Prado Museum, the fountains of Neptun, Apollo, and Cibeles, and the Botanical Garden.
Monument to Felippe III on Plaza Mayor
The square, which is no less known than Puerta del Sol is also under the control of an equestrian monument. Here you will find Felippe III. Felippe was the first monarch who was born in Madrid, as it was thanks to his father, Felippe II, that the city became the kingdom capital. Felippe III remained in history as a patron of the arts. During hit time literature lived its Golden Age. Thanks to him, Madrid went through a significant transformation, and the main proof of it is the Main Square. The square acquired the look familiar to us between 1617-1619 following Felippe II’s order. The monument of the king riding horse was presented to Felippe by the Duke of Toscana and arrived in Madrid in 1616. Originally it was put by Alcazar (which used to occupy the place of the modern Royal Palace). It was moved to Plaza Mayor only in the middle of the nineteenth century. A peculiar story happened when the monument was going under refurbishing. Before the horse’s mouth had been opened and while the monument was being refurbished, they found remains of lots of dead birds inside the horse. It turned out that having flown in bird were trapped as they couldn’t find the way out. Now the mouth is closed so the sad story won’t happen again.
Monument to Felippe IV on Plaza Oriente
This monument is located right in front of the Royal Palace and faces the building of the Royal Opera. The monument was created by the Toscanian sculptor Pietro Tacca in 1640. He took the portrait by Velazques as the basis, this painting you can still find in the Prado. Tacca working on the sculptor put himself an impossible for his times goal, the horse had to stand in its back legs. Before that nobody has done anything like that. To make his idea come true, the sculptor turned to Galileo Galilei. The latter suggested using a special mix of bronze, which would be really thin in the frontal part of the horse and really massive at the back. Tacca also employed the horse’s tail as an extra pillar. So there was the first equestrian monument with the horse on its back legs. First, the monument was in Retiro but Isabella II ordered to transport it to Plaza Oriente in 1844.