Spanish version


The Four Fountains - Las Cuatro Fuentes

Four FountainsThe last group of fountains belonging to those Spanish cardembelishing the Paseo del Prado, Cibeles, Neptuno and Apollo, are these four fountains. Madrilians usually call them the "Four Coins" as, seen from above, they resemble this card of the Spanish suit.

They are located between the Prado Museum and the Botanic Garden, two on each side of the avenue. They have no special symbolic meaning and are just ornaments.

The design of the fountains was made by Ventura Rodriguez in 1781 and the fountains by Roberto Michel, Francisco Gutierrez and Alfonso Giraldo Bergaz, although we do not know which fountain was made by whom.

The fountains were made of white stone from Colmenar and due to their bad state of conservation substituted by reproductions some years ago. The original fountains are in the San Isidro Museum.
Four Fountains
Under the upper plate there are four lion heads representing the Spanish monarchy.Four Fountains

On top of each of the  four fountains  is a triton or a mermaid with a douphin. They are all different due to the different artist´s style.

Triton was a Greek god, son of Poseidon (Neptune) and Amphitrite. Poseidon and Amphitrite were the gods of the sea. Tritons are half human and half fish.

Triton is often represented with a shell which he used to calm the waves or, when he blew it very loudly, to create storms.

He was supposed to live in the sea with his parents. He was foster parent to Athena and father of Pallas, who was killed by Athena.

With time his name represented merman or mermaids that usually were with sea gods. Some of them even had a human torso,  horse front legs and a fish tail.

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