Fuente de Cibeles

This work by the architect Ventura Rodríguez to adorn the reform of the Paseo del Prado promoted by the Count of Aranda is one of the symbols of the city of Madrid. The fountain is located in the centre of the central roundabout of the Plaza de Cibeles, and is formed of a circular basin embedded at road level and surrounded by a landscaped strip, over which water pours from a bowl, of a similar but smaller diameter and with a fluted edge, which in turn receives the waterfall that overflows from the original granite basin of the fountain resting on it.

In the centre there stands a sculptural group carved entirely in Montesclaros marble, which represents a rocky reef with some plants and animals, such as a snake and a frog, on which the triumphal chariot of the Goddess Cibeles rests. It is pulled by two lions which, according to mythology, are two metamorphosed young men, Hippomenes and Atalanta. The cart has four ornately decorated wheels, which support a platform on which there is a rich pedestal and the abovementioned throne, and from which a perimeter skirt hangs decorated with bas-relief pine cones in memory of Atis, the shepherd loved by Cibeles whom the Goddess turned into a pine tree.

Fuente de Cibeles photograph