Monumental Cascade Fountain
Location: Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona
This beautiful fountain is called the Great or Monumental Cascade (Gran Cascada, Cascada Monumental).
A golden statue of Aurora (Greek: Eos) in her Quadriga drawn by four horses can be seen at the very top of the monument. A quadriga (Latin quadri-, four, and iugum, yoke) is a car or chariot drawn by four horses abreast. It’s the Roman Empire’s equivalent of Ancient Greek tethrippon. It was raced in the Ancient Olympic Games and other contests.
Aurora holds a torch in her right hand, symbolising the light that illuminates the world every morning. The Goddess of the sunrise has been positioned above the fountain since 1888.
The centrepiece of the backdrop to fountain monument depicts the birth of Venus (Aphrodite). The Goddess of Love can be seen standing in front of a giant clamshell together with a couple of Naiads. Neptune (Poseidon) can be seen on the right hand side closer to the water holding his three-pronged trident.
Climb the steps to the top platform to take a better view of the park. I visited this magical fountain during a period of renovation and I was blown away by its beauty. The famous designer, Gaudi, is reputed to have worked here as an apprentice when the monument was under construction.
Four Griffons, mythical beasts (part lion and eagle) guard the upper water level.
Cibeles (The Titaness Rhea) Fountain
Location: Plaza de Cibeles, Madrid
The mother of the Olympian Gods and Goddesses is honoured every time Real Madrid, Spain’s most famous football team, wins a championship. As you see below.
The 12 Labours of Hercules Mosaic
Location: National Archeological Museum of Spain, Madrid
Labyrinth of the Minotaur
Location: Terra Mitica – Partida del Moralet, s/n, 03502 Benidorm, Alicante, Spain
Location: D’Adarró beach, Vilanova i la Geltrú – Seaside town in Catalonia (a few kilometres South of Sitges)
The statue visually represents the myth of Pasiphaë (Pasífae in Catalan). In Greek mythology, Pasiphaë was the daughter of Helios and the wife of King Minos of Crete. Poseidon sent Minos a bull as a gift to be sacrificed but he refused because of the bull’s prized beauty. Poseidon became angry at this disobediance and punished King Minos by making his wife fall in love with the bull. The myth says that Pasiphaë had a wooden bull constructed so that she could hide inside it to mate with the bull! She loved the bull dearly. I wonder if Eros got involved. If that wasn’t bizarre enough, the offspring was the monstrous Minotaur.
If someone can dream this construction into life, then I’m certain the Greek myth must be true.
Royal Palace of Aranjuez
Location: Aranjuez (50 km south of Madrid)
The gardens are filled with many reminders of Greek mythology. Hercules and the hydra, as well as Apollo stand out. Check out some more of the beauty within the fabulous Gardens at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez.
Cascada Nueva – La Granja
Location: La Ganja, near Segovia – 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Madrid
The 18-th century Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso (Spanish: Palacio Real de La Granja de San Ildefonso), known as La Granja, pays tribute to the Greek Gods and Goddesses.
Here you can see Andromeda, Apollo and Neptune (Poseidon) way back in the distance.
Tower of Hercules
Location: La Coruña (Galicia, Spain)
It is the oldest working lighthouse in the world. Interestingly, Hercules is thought to have been buried in Spain. To have a lighthouse named after Hercules is impressive.
The Pillar of Hercules are on Spains doorsteps.
A tribute to Patricia Yurena Rodríguez – Miss Universe 2013 – First Runner Up. You have to watch this unique Spanish swimsuit contest.
Medusa Sunbeach Festival
The Spaniards know how to party. The Medusa Sunbeach Festival has been held every year since 2014.
Hermes (Mercury) assists in the founding of Barcelona
Location: Plaça de Catalunya, Barcelona
Legend has it that Hermes (Mercury) helped to assist in the founding of Barcelona, together with Hercules. I wonder if he gave someone an important message?
Location: Parc del Laberint d’Horta, Barcelona
The 18-acre gardens are said to be the oldest in Barcelona.
Spain has a labyrinth with Greek Gods and Goddesses to explore. How cool does this labyrinth look? I missed these beautiful gardens completely. Ignorance is hell.
At the entrance of the maze, you’ll find a relief of King Minos welcoming Theseus on Crete. In Greek mythology, Minos had a maze built to house the Minotaur.
It’s possible you’ll find Echo, the nymph who fell in love with Narcissus. Unfortunately, you won’t find the Minotaur here. Or can you?
Location: Alcázar of Seville (Spanish “Reales Alcázares de Sevilla” or “Royal Alcazars of Seville”)
Pond and fountain of Gardens of Mercury (Hermes).
The palace is renowned as one of the most beautiful in Spain. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as the official Seville residence. It’s the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe, and in 1987 it was registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
I can’t believe I missed out on going to the Royal Palace when I was in Seville. Another Palace. What could they possibly have in there, I thought. Well, I missed out.
Atlas holding up the world
Location: Royal Palace, Madrid
Atlas was punished and had to hold up the world as recompense. This Atlas seems to have it quite good in comparison.
Hermes (Mercury) residing on top of Spanish Bank
Location: Spanish Banking Group Building, Bilbao
Hermes (Mercury) is a major Greek and Roman God. He’s the patron God of financial gain, commerce, eloquence (and thus poetry), messages, communication (including divination), travellers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves. He’s also the guide of souls to the underworld. There are Mercury figures all over Spain.
Location: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Travelling from the southern resorts or the airport towards Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on the GC-1, stands a humungous statue of the Greek God Triton. He’s the love child of Poseidon (Neptune) and Amphitrite. The statue is approximately 10 metres tall.
The messenger of the sea can be seen blowing a conch.
Calder Mercury Fountain
Location: Joan Miro Foundation Building, Barcelona
At one point in time, the world’s greatest source of mercury came from the mines at Almadén, Spain. The mines produced some 250,000 metric tons of mercury over nearly two millennia of operation.
Mercury, also known as quicksilver, is a shiny metal that is liquid at room temperature. It’s also known to be very toxic.
Calder’s Mercury Fountain was built to be displayed at the Spanish Republican Pavilion for the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris. It was situated in front of Pablo Picasso’s famous painting Guernica.
Amazingly the fountain pumps pure mercury instead of water.
The fountain is shielded by glass to prevent anyone from getting too close.
Perseus and Medusa
Location: Avenida del Mar, Marbella
Here’s a Salvador Dali sculpture of the Greek mythological hero Perseus beheading Medusa. There’s also a sculpture of Mercury (Hermes) on the same beautiful Avenida del Mar, next to “Plaza de la Alameda” in Marbella. Though Hermes is totally unrecognisable.
Location: Playa de Venus, Marbella
Situated about 400 metres from the Marbella promenade. The sand stretches approximately 40 metres wide.
The Muse of singing.
The Spanish seem to be among the wisest when it comes to Greek mythology.
The Creation of the Milky Way
Location: The Prado, Madrid
The Milky Way was created by Heracles (Hercules), who was the son of Zeus and the mortal woman Alcmene… When Hera realised she was breastfeeding an unknown infant, she pushed him away. The spurting milk dropped from the sky and created the Milky Way.
Many of these sights are easily missed in Spain if you’re not aware of them. I missed many of them even though I was so close and had time to fit them into my schedule, if only I knew. Check out what happened on my very own trip to Spain, where I pay tribute to the Minotaur.
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