The Fallen Angel Statue – Lucifer in the Retiro ParkInside the 118 hectares of the Retiro Park, there is a small place for a fountain dedicated to the devil: The Fallen Angel Statue
It is not very common to go to any city and find a statue dedicated to the Fallen Angel. However Madrid is one of the very very few ones. The figure of the Fallen Angel of Madrid is said to be the first sculpture dedicated to the devil in the whole world.
In the Christian religion, a fallen angel is one who has been expelled from heaven for rebelling against the commands of God. Those angels who did not obey were expelled from heaven by tearing off their wings. There were several of them but the most famous one and the one that can be seen in the capital of Spain is Lucifer.
The word Lucifer means “light bearer”, but when he confronted God he was punished and became Satan whose meaning is “opponent” “adversary”. And precisely the figure symbolizes that moment before becoming Satan.
To find this black and disturbing figure you just have to walk through the Retiro Park and pay attention to one of its fountains. Exactly in the fountain emplaced between the streets where Fernán Núñez road, Uruguay road and Cuba road get together in an intersection. Right there you will find the devil located on top of the fountain.
This beautiful design was the work of a madrid citizien Ricardo Bellver, who inspired by John Milton’s poem, Paradise Lost, decided to make this beautiful sculpture.
The statue is representing the naked figure of an angel just at the moment of collapsing, sat on a piece of tree trunk and having a snake tied to one of its legs. As always, the snake symbolizes the bad side in the Bible. It is the moment when he will turn from Lucifer into Satan. His expression and his gesture twisted backwards, with a face of pain, probably because of hate or humiliation, rarely seen in the world of sculpture, shows this moment.
Under the feet of Lucifer there are eight heads of demons that spit out fishes, lizards and snakes as well as other symbolic figures from which the water comes out. To decorate the fountain, there is a small flower bed surrounding it.
Bellver’s work was originally a simple plaster mold created in Rome. The fame of the artistic qualities of the work reached to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando and the Spanish State paid 4,500 pesetas for the same figure but made of bronze. A year later, in 1878, was sent the Universal Exhibition of Paris included in the Spanish delegation.
The installation of the statue in the Retiro obviously caused controversy in its time for who was represented but it was finally set in the Retiro Park and inaugurated in 1885. It’s been there for almost 150 years, and so he has seen a lot of important events of the Spanish and Madrid History. Among them, one that he lived quite close was the Spanish Civil War, so close that, if the reader fix his eyes in the statue he will see some holes in the body and wings of Lucifer coming from the bullets of the war.
To endark its figure even more, it is said that the statue is placed at 666 meters above sea level, which is, the number of the Beast. And this is plausible by taking into account that Madrid itself is located between 500 and 700 meters above sea level, and that the Observatory of Madrid, which in the southern part of the park, there is a plaque where you can read that the building is 656.8 meters above the sea level. So this theory may be true.
If you don’t beleive us you can go to the Retiro Park to check it by yourself. Right there you will find the Fallen Angel Statue and the dark atmosphere sorounding the statue. So we would suggest to go and check it under the day light!
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