Fuente de los Galápagos

Originally, this impressive fountain was designed in 1832 by the municipal architect Francisco Javier de Mariátegui for the Plaza de la Red de San Luis, on the occasion of the swearing in of the then Princess of Asturias, the future Isabel II. In 1879, the fountain was moved from its original location to the Glorieta de Nicaragua in the Retiro Park, where it is preserved today. It is a large sculptural group, located centrally on a circular basin, by means of a tiered pedestal with three roughly executed steps and crowned by a bowl with the same geometry. The middle section is made up of four seated cupids attached to two dolphins with pipes, which surround a pillar like a palm tree that supports the upper bowl, in whose centre there is a snail that could be regarded as the main spout. Four more pipes emerge from the mouths of two galapagos and two frogs located on the tiers and under the children and dolphins, in the diagonals they create, each with its own wall bowl in the shape of a shell.

Fuente de los Galápagos photograph