Across from the Royal Palace in Madrid is the Plaza de Oriente. It’s a beautiful garden with majestic rows and paths for strolling around. Later in my trip, I would learn a few funny secrets about this park. The numerous statues in the park were meant to go along the roof of the Palace. However, the statues were too heavy! So they placed them throughout the garden. If you look closely you’ll notice that they aren’t top quality sculptures, with random chips and unfinished details, because the artists didn’t plan for people to see them up close!
Another interesting story I would learn was about the statue of a king on a horse in the park. It’s a large impressive bronze statue of a man on a horse with his 2 front legs in the air. If you look at the statue and think about it you’ll notice that the only part of the statue touching the base are the horse’s two hind legs.
This statue was built for a king who no one liked, but the kind wanted an impressive statue so maybe people would think differently of him. So he insisted on having the horse up in the air… but the artist had issues. The statue kept falling forward…. even hollow it was to heavy and off balance. So they called in some brain power… Galileo! Galileo came up with the genius idea to make the back half of the horse solid bronze and the front half hollow. And now we have an impressive statue of an unpopular king!
I stuck my camera through the fence to get a nice shot of the palace. Someone told me this palace is bigger than Versailles, but I didn’t really believe them. It’s big, but it’s hard to tell if it’s really that big?
If you turn around from the Royal Palace Gate, you face the Cathedral. It’s not the most impressive Cathedral, but it does have interesting murals on the building and doors that are worth checking out.
I assume this is the royal crest that I took a picture of. It’s very pretty stonework.
I turn to leave and notice the morning light shining into the lonely courtyard between the Palace and the Cathedral. I headed down Calle Mayor towards my hostel and stopped over at the Mercado de San Miguel. The market is a beautiful iron and glass historic structure. My lonely planet book mentioned that Anthony Bourdain had been there on his show.
I checked out the beautiful fruit stands and grabbed a cafe con leche to go.