fuente de la alcachofa madrid
The Fuente de la Alcachofa Madrid is a unique Baroque fountain to the southwester edge of the Jardines del Retiro (Retiro Park). The fountain's inspiration and central design is dedicated to the once important winter crop of the region, the Artichoke.
Why an Artichoke?
The Fuente de la Alcachofa Madrid was a central part of King Carlos III plan to urbanize the eastern side of Madrid. When the fountain was commissioned the Artichoke was the main stable food of the winter months and was considered as a winter lifeline by the farming class.
Few such grand monuments have revered such a humble vegetable and yet in Madrid there is not just one monument but two dedicated to the Artichoke. The second fountain is a direct replicate of the Fuente de la Alcachofa Madrid but is cast in bronze and stands in the Plaza del Emperador Carlos V.
Fuente de la Alcachofa Madrid Info and Details
The Fuente de la Alcachofa Madrid in Retiro Park is constructed from polished limestone and granite mined from the quarries of Redueña. At the base of the fountain's body stands a mermaid and newt both supporting the coat of arms of Madrid. From this base the column protrudes into a raised bowl while at the top of the spout is the carved Artichoke. The fountain, which was commissioned in 1776, stood in the centre of the Paseo del Prado until the road was redesigned and the fountain was moved to Retiro Park in 1880.
The Fuente de la Alcachofa stands in the southern western side of the Retiro Park in the Plaza de la República de Honduras. The nearest metro station is Retiro or Ibiza.