Chariots at the Top of Calle Alcala Buildings

Chariots at the Top of Calle Alcala Buildings

I have always believed that Madrid has great appeal when you look up, on top of buildings.

At the beginning of Alcalá Street, close to Metro de Sevilla station, and to Puerta del Sol, there is this building, former headquarters of BBVA Bank, which is crowned by the sculptures of two chariots pulled by four horses.

The Banco de Bilbao, emphasized with these stunning sculptures, the image of strength and power that the banks, that were their communication strategy early last century.

These two sculptural sets of 25 tons, were made by Basque sculptor Higinio Basterra and originally were golden color, due to its brass, and gold coated material.

During the Spanish Civil War, these sculptures were coated with dark paint, so to hide and prevent them from being a reference to Franco’s planes which bombed Madrid.

It is also said that during the transport from Bilbao to Madrid, one of these horses was lost, forcing Basterra to make the reverse journey, in order to find the missing horse.

Today this building houses the Ministry of Environment and Territorial Planning.

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