Plaza de España y Monumento a Cervantes, Madrid, SpainCategory: Madrid
If you’re planning to pay a visit to Madrid, the largest city in Spain and its capital, you should definitely try to schedule a visit to the Plaza de España, where, among other sites and attractions, you’ll find the Monumento a Cervantes, a tribute to the world-famous writer Miguel de Cervantes. Below we have provided an overview of this famous city square and monument, including some information regarding its location, history and the many features that make it such a special place to visit.
Plaza de España y Monumento a Cervantes
Plaza de España
Located at the end of the picturesque Gran Via, one of Madrid’s busiest streets, the Plaza de España is one of Madrid’s largest and most popular city squares. This green plaza is surrounded by streets, but instead of the usual noise and commotion you’ll encounter in the city, the square and its large fountain offers a relaxed and serene setting that consistently lures both locals and tourists.
The region where the Plaza de España was constructed, very near to the Palacio Real or Royal Palace, was once occupied by a barrack. This was later demolished to make room for the new public square, which quickly became a popular gathering spot for the local people. This popularity increased in the 1950s after two of Madrid’s largest buildings were constructed near the square: the Edificio de España and the Torre de Madrid. Both of these buildings were designed by the Otamendi brothers, local architects, and constructed by project developer Metropolitana.
The most impressive and elegant of the two skyscrapers, the Edificio de España, was constructed between 1947 and 1953. It consists of a central 25-story tower flanked by two smaller wings. The Torre de Madrid was built in 1957 and was, at the time, the tallest concrete building in the world with a height of nearly 466 feet (142 meters). Nicknamed La Jirafe, or “giraffe,” by locals, it remained the tallest building in Madrid until the Torre Picasso was erected in 1989.
Monumento a Cervantes
The Monumento a Cervantes, or Monument to Cervantes, is the most popular sight at the Plaza de España. It is dedicated to Miguel de Cervantes, a Spanish author whose works included the renowned story of Don Quixote de la Mancha and his trusty sidekick, Sancho Panza. Each year thousands of tourists gather at the monument, which features bronze statues of Don Quixote riding a horse and his pal Sancho riding a mule. These creations stand in the forefront of the monument’s tower, upon which another statue rises, a stone statue of Cervantes himself looking over the wonderful characters he brought to life. Next to the tower are two stone representations of Don Quixote’s “true Love,” one depicted as the simple peasant woman Aldonza Lorenzo, and one as the beautiful, albeit the imaginary, Dulcinea del Toboso.
The Monumento a Cervantes was designed by the architects Rafael Martinez Zapatero and sculptor Lorenzo Coullaut Valera. The majority of the monument was built between the years 1925 and 1930, and the remainder was completed between 1956 and 1957 by Federico Coullaut-Valera Mendigutia, the son of the original sculptor.
To get to the Plaza de España simply take line #3 or #10 of the Metro to the Plaza de Espana Metro Station, located on the eastern corner of the plaza.