This fountain is the most important symbol of Madrid. It was built at the end of the 18th Century under the orders of King Carlos III. It was designed by architect Ventura Rodríguez in marble and represents the goddess Cibeles astride a lion-drawn chariot. In her hands she holds a scepter and the keys to the city.
The fountain is the venue for celebrations of victories by Real Madrid Football Club. It used to be located at the start of Paseo de Recoletos until 1895 when the Council moved it to its present site. This sculpture, 8 metres tall and 32 in diameter is surrounded by a number of important buildings, such as Banco de España, Buenavista Palace, Linares Palace (presently Casa de América), and the Communications Building.