The Fountain of Neptune is located at the Plaza Canovas del Castillo along the Paseo del Prado. King Carlos III ordered its construction and it was designed by the architect Ventura Rodriguez. The sculptor Juan Pascual de Mena started it in 1780 and in 1786 his disciple Jose Rodriguez finished the project.
The statues shows a nude Neptune, the god of the sea, with a trident in one hand and a coiled snake in the other. He stands on a chariot shaped like a shell that is drawn by two sea horses and surrounded by dolphins. Beside him can be seen seals and dolphins that act as picturesque water spouts. This fountain tried to symbolize the maritime power that Spain had in previous times, a power that the Bourbon king wanted to recover with the reform of the Spanish navy.
The fountain and statue are a counterpoint to the Cibeles fountain. Near it, the Atletico de Madrid Futbol Club celebrates its victories. Around this plaza are famous buildings such as the Prado Museum, the Palace Hotel, the Ritz Hotel, the Villahermosa Palace, the Congreso de los Diputados (House of Commons), and the San Jeronimo el Real Church.
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