Miguel de Cervantes Monument in Plaza de España Madrid
In the centre of the Plaza de España of Madrid we discover one of the most important monuments of Miguel de Cervantes of the City. A monument full of symbolism that remind us to the most important writer of the Spanish and International Literature around the world. In fact the celebration of the Book Day on the 23rd of April is related to his figure.
In the centre of the Plaza de España of Madrid and sorrounded by big buildings like the Edificio España and the Madrid Tower we find the monument of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. We find the monument of a Genius, of one of the most important writers of the Golden Century of the Literature in Spain and one of the most well-known at the international way.
In fact one of the reasons to celebrate the Book day on the 23rd of April is related to him, as it matches with the day of the death of Miguel de Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega on the 23rd of April of 1616.
What a great concidence yeah? Well…this is not exactly true, as Cervantes died on the 22nd of April and Shakespeare died on the 23rd of April following the Julian Calendar. By those times Europe followed another Calendar, the Gregorian Calendar, so this dates didn’t really match, and so neither matched the date of the death of these Genius. But to simplify things, the chosen date was the symbolic 23rd of April. Cervantes was buried this same day.
But taking these differences apart, the truth is that if someone sets such an important date in the calendar it is easy to think that he deserves a monument in Madrid. That is why we find him in the Plaza de España next to the literary works that raised him as master.
At both sides we find “Rinconete y Cortadillo” and at the other side “La Gitana” (The Gypsy) .
But the most well known literary work of Cervantes is the one that can be found at the front part of the statue “The history of the valorous and wittie Knight-Errant Don-Quixote of the Mancha ” (1606-1616) or “Don Quixote”
Therefore, at the front of the monument we find to The most well known knights in the Spanish History! Don Quixote of the Mancha and his most fellow squir! Sancho Panza!
And they are not alone. At the left side of the monument it is possible to see to the beautiful and always intended by Don Quijote, Miss Dulcinea del Toboso, The lady in behalf of who Don Quijote celebrated its always crazy battles. He just tried to achieve a better world for her.
And by looking to the right side it can be found to the always intended by Don Quijote, Miss Dulcinea del Toboso, The lady in behalf of who, Don Quijote celebrated its always crazy battles!
Maybe you are thinking that we are wrong, because we are giving the same identity to 2 really different statues. We are not wrong. A subtle detail explains this. It is neccesary to pay attention to the side where they are represented. On the left side, Dulcinea is represented at Don Quijote’s side, so it is represented just as he saw her, As the most beautiful princess of La Mancha! This is the Fantastic Vision! And on the other hand, at the right side, she is represented at Sancho Panza’s Side! So she is represented as Aldonza Lorenzo! As she really was! As “the best pig breeder of the Mancha”! The Realistic Vision! This contrast is one of the key points of the novel.
And above all of them, We can also find a man, a man staring at them, sitting on the stone grabing a novel…Who is he?And what is he holding?
He is the man that luckily lost his left hand instead of his good one in the Lepanto’s battle against the Otoman Empire in the 1571. That is why he covers this hand with the cape. He is Miguel de Cervantes and he is holding with the right hand the novel that prised him as Master and that gave birth to all this people.
A novel that for sure you will know, as it is one of the most famous novels in History and it has extended all along the world. As you are for sure proving by knowing it, English speaking reader, this novel enjoys of Universal recognition.That is why at the top of the monument, there is a globe sorrounded by Women reading his novel. These women are Europe, Africa, América, Asia and Oceanía, what symbolize precisely this.
In fact Don Quijote de la Mancha is the 2nd most publicated book in History with 500 millions of copies published, only surpassed by the Bible.
At the other side of the monument something similar can be found as there is a woman reading this same novel. She represents The Spanish Literature and she is exactly doing the same, recognizing the great contribution of the Novel to her world.
And in the same way the novel spread around the World, The atmosphere created by the monument spreads all along the square by the olive trees…They are not typicall trees from Madrid, but they are the typical trees of the Mancha, the territory where Don Quijote celebrated its always crazy battles as errant knight and so the trees that inspired Cervantes to write his novel.
Nowadays, thanks to the magic created by the monument and the Genius in the middle of the Square, our Plaza de España de Madrid has a special bright inside.
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