At the bottom of Calle Goya, where is meets the Paseo de Recoletos and Paseo de la Castellana is Plaza de Colón, now a very busy road intersection.
At the centre of the intersection is a Neogothic monument to Cristóbal Colón in white Italian marble. The Monumento a Colón was erected between 1881 and 1885.
The statue, along with the fountains further down Paseo de Recoletos, is a favourite spot for celebrating football fans.
I was fortunate enough to be in town when Spain won the world cup in July 2010. The scenes of rapturous joy were pretty wild as you can imagine!
A rather unattractive but quirky building known as the Torres de Colón towers over the square where it meets Calle de Genoa. Constructed in 1976, it was designed by the architect Antonio Lamela.
My favourite feature of the square however is below the Torres de Colón on the traffic island in the middle of Calle de Genoa.
The statue, dating from 1987, is called ‘Woman with Mirror’ by Fernando Botero.
Believe it or not it’s actually very easy to walk right by and totally miss it because you’re watching the traffic.
In the paved area of the square by Calle de Goya is the Jardines del Descubrimiento.
This part of the square is dominated by a huge brutalist monument, the Monumento al Descubrimiento de América,, which is decorated with with reliefs and inscriptions dedicated to the discovery of America.
It’s formed by three statues known respectively as Las profecías, La génesis y El Descubrimiento (The Prophecies, The Genesis and The Discovery).
It was erected in 1977 and is the work of sculptor Joaquín Vaquero Turcios. I have no idea what he was thinking when he created these concrete beasts, but I admire him for it!
Click on a picture to go to full-screen slideshow mode.
A huge Spanish flag flies above this part of the square which is beloved by skateboarders and BMX bike riders.
On the other side of Calle de Goya, in front of the Hard Rock Cafe, is a small ignominious square suitably named Plaza Margaret Thatcher. There are no statues here thankfully!
However this statue on the crossing of Paseo de Recoletas could be mistaken for a younger likeness of the former British Prime Minister. I think she might have lost her keys in this depiction.
Photos uploaded April 2011 and February and April 2017.