Palacio de Cibeles, Madrid, Spain 2

*Click on image for full-sized view.

The Palacio de Cibeles was originally the Palacio de Comunicaciones (or the Palace of Communication). Built in 1904, its intended purpose was to be the Central Post Office of Madrid. The palace fronts a busy road and Plaza de Cibeles, a square where Madrid’s futbol team, Real Madrid, celebrates its wins. It changed its name to Palacio de Cibeles  recently, in 2011. After its functioning time was up as the central post office, it became the Postal and Telegraphic Museum until 2007, when it finally became Madrid’s City Hall, which it is currently.

In the middle of the square out front is the gorgeous marble Cibeles Fountain, which portrays Cybele (sometimes called Ceres, the Goddess of Fertility and namesake of the palace and plaza) sitting on a chariot pulled by two lions. According to lore, these lions were once people who were transformed into these lions because they had ruined the temple of Cybele.

Since 1993, it has been included in the Bien de Interés Cultural, meaning that it is on the register as a Spanish Property of Cultural Interest.

Palacio de Cibeles, Madrid, Spain 1 Palacio de Cibeles, Madrid, Spain