Spanish version

Apollo or The Four Seasons - Apolo o Las Cuatro Estaciones

Apollo fountainThis beautiful fountain is less known than its companions at Paseo Apollo fountain - Medusadel Prado - La Cibeles, Neptuno and the Four Fountains, probably because it is not located in the center of a square, but in the boulevard that goes from Cibeles to Neptuno Fountain.

The design of the fountain was made by Ventura Rodriguez in 1777 and the different statues and ornaments by several artists. Initially it was foreseen that the fountain would be surrounded by a colonnade  offering  shelter in case of rain or sun, but this project was rejected because it was too expensive. The fountain was finished in 1803.

On the sides of the fountains we can see two heads belonging to the Medusa and Circe.

Apollo fountain - CirceMedusa was a gorgon who turned those looking at her into Apollo fountain - Springstone. She was beheaded by Perseus. Instead of hair her head is covered by snakes.

Circe is a goddess that turned those looking at her into animals.

Beneath the Apollo statue are the statues belonging to the 4 Seasons.

Spring is young woman with flowers symbolizing the birth of the new year.

Summer is also represented by a woman with an ear of wheat, an image of   the cornfields. She has a sickle in her hands.

Apollo fountain - SummerAutumn is a young man wearing vine shoot on his head Apollo fountain - Autumnand some grapes in his hands.

Winter is represented by an old man symbolizing the end of the year and life. He is usually dressed with heavy clothes.

All these four statues are in quite bad shape due to the material used.

On top of the fountain we can see the statue of Apollo, god of light, sun, truth, medice and more. It was started by Manuel Alvarez, who also made the statues belonging to the 4 Seasons. But due to his death it was finished by Alonso Giraldo Bergaz. In his left hand he holds a lyre as he was also considered the god of arts. At his feet is a phyton serpent.

Apollo fountain - WinterApollo was the son of Zeus and Leto. Hera had sent the Apollophyton to kill Leto and Apollo killed the serpent to protect his mother.  Therefore Apollo is usually represented with a bow and arrows.

It is believed that he invented the lyre which he used to lead the choir of the nine muses.

Apollo also represents the ideal image of Greek manhood.

@Copyright 2008, 2009 Mª Dolores Diehl Busch. All rights reserved.
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