At the western end of Gran Vía, in short walking distance of the Royal Palace, you can find Plaza de España. While perhaps just a little outside the main attractions of the Spanish capital Madrid of Plaza Mayor and the Royal Palace, it certainly deserves the small detour. Here, you can find a square of relative peace while life races by in the bustling city around you. Plus: you can see the Cervantes Monument, erected in memory of the greatest novelist of Spain. Started in 1925, Cervantes monument was started by sculptor Coullaut Valera, and in 1957 finished by his son. It was an early summer morning when I arrived at the square, having been there countless times before. Sometimes just walking through, or passing by, but other times, going there just to see it. And that was my purpose of this visit, too.
Upon arriving on the square, I first walked to the pond that lies in between the trees in the middle of the square. On this quiet, sunny morning, the water was perfectly flat, reflecting the Cervantes Monument and the surrounding skyscrapers Torre de Madrid and Edificio España. At first, a group of Chinese tourists was gathered around the edge of the pond, but as soon as they walked on, I had the view all to myself. At the far end, the Cervantes Monument, with Don Quixote and Sancho Pancha on their horse and mule, respectively, seemingly riding out into the water. Behind them, a little higher up, against the tower monument rising in the middle of the square: the statue of the father of these fictional characters: Miguel Cervantes himself, solemnly sitting on a chair with a thick book in his hand.
Next to Cervantes, on separate pedestals, are statues of the two true loves of Don Quixote: Aldonza Lorenzo and Dulcinea de Toboso. I walked to the other side of the monument, while two guys who had been sleeping at the feet of Cervantes were being chased away by street cleaners, noticed a nice sculpted scene of a girl furiously dancing, admired by a bunch of people around her, and on the other side of the tower, saw Isabella of Portugal, and at the top of the tower, a globe with several nude women reading books. The Plaza de España had been quiet thus far, but tour buses started to arrive, spitting out crowds of tourists, and it was time to move on. On the Gran Vía side of the square, I noticed a wide fountain with two elegant women on either side; from here, I had a nice view not only of the Plaza de España, but also the two famous skyscrapers dominating the square: the Torre de Madrid and the Edificio España. I once again walked the square, noticed the quiet park-like spaces on the other, lower side, before leaving it behind - knowing for sure that I would be back again one day.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Plaza de España (Spain). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Plaza de España. Read more about this site.