Cibeles Fountain (Fuente de Cibeles)
Featuring two lions pulling a chariot on which sits Cybele the Greek goddess of fertility, the Cibeles Fountain is definitely not understated. Designed by the architect Ventura Rodriguez for King Carlos III in 1782 the fountain stands at the center of the Plaza de Cibeles, next to Madrid City Hall and the Banco d’España.
The fountain’s original function was to provide clean drinking water to the city’s residents, but today it’s purely decorative. Locals often arrange to meet here before heading out for a drink or some tapas, and tourists are sure to pass by during their stay—on a guided bus, bike, or tuk-tuk ride, guided walking tour, or on the way to the Prado Museum or Gran Via’s many brand name stores.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The fountain is in the middle of a traffic island, so you might not be able to get up close to see it.
- See if you can spot the “keys to the city” that Cybele holds in her outstretched hand.
- The fountain is in the heart of the city and is walking distance from many other important landmarks and museums.
How to Get There
The Cibeles Fountain stands at the intersection of the Paseo del Prado, Calle Alcala and Paseo de Recoletos. The closest metro station is Banco d’España, just a few moments away. Hop-on-hop-off buses stop nearby at xx and you’ll find taxis passing by at all times of the day.
When to Get There
The fountain is in the center of a public square, accessible 24 hours a day. There’s always a buzz in this part of town, from tourists heading to the museums to office workers running to start their day or friends heading out to dinner.
Get a Taste of Aristocratic Life in Spain Head to the Cerralbo Museum close to the Plaza d’España to see just how opulent life was for aristocratic Spanish families in the 19th century. With walls lined with marble, and over 50,000 priceless items on display—plus lashings of gold leaf—the former palace of the 17th Marquis of Cerralbo, Enrique de Aguilera y Gamboa, is one of the city’s most unique museums.
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- Alcalá Gate (Puerta de Alcalá)
- Mapfre Foundation (Fundación Mapfre)
- Madrid Naval Museum (Museo Naval de Madrid)
- Prado Museum (Museo del Prado)
- Cybele Palace (Palacio de Cibeles)
- National Museum of Decorative Arts (Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas)
- Plaza de Cibeles
- Madrid Wax Museum (Museo de Cera de Madrid)
- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza)
- Círculo de Bellas Artes (CBA)
- Hard Rock Café Madrid
- Plaza de Colón
- San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Art
- Lope de Vega House Museum (Casa Museo Lope de Vega)
- Cardamomo Tablao Flamenco