After a boat ride, relax at the monarch’s feet overlooking the Estanque.
Overlooking Estanque del Retiro in Buen Retiro Park is the Monument to Alfonso XII. A grand construction of bronze and marble, it features a semicircular colonnade alongside the lake, with several sculptures surrounding a central equestrian statue of the king.
It was designed by José Grases Riera, who was the winner of a national competition for the honour in 1902. After Riera died in 1919, the project was continued without modifying his design, and was completed in 1922 - one of many commemorative monuments erected in Spain over the 20th century.
Alfonso himself sits 30 metres high, and was cast in bronze in 1904. The stairs down to the lake are flanked by lions and mermaids; Allegorical statues of Peace, Liberty and Progress surround the monument’s base, as well as figures representing the Army, the Navy, the Sciences, the Arts, Agriculture and Industry.
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