I’ve hurried up the stairs to Calle Serrano, then down them again to the Castellana countless times. A few months ago, I had an hour to kill, and instead of just sitting on a bench, playing with my phone, I had a proper look at this Madrid sculpture park, (El Museo de Escultura de Aire Libre de la Castellana), which I’d only half taken in before.
It’s an unusual site for a park like this. It’s next to the busiest road in Madrid but it feels protected under the Juan Bravo bridge, and the metal, bronze, concrete and stone pieces are well-placed in this urban setting.
The artists are all Spanish men, nearly all born in the 1920’s, some well-known, others less so. The enormous hanging piece seen in the photo is by Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida, famed for his huge abstract works. The waterfall, railings and even the little bean-like seats were all designed by Eusebio Sempere, who was a kinetic artist – there’s a large steel hanging piece of his in front of the waterfall too.
There are 17 works in all – I really enjoyed visiting them; it felt like being in a gallery, and I was able to filter out the noise of the road as I wandered around. My favourite sculpture is the large bronze by Joan Miró, titled Mère Ubu, which reminded me of a penguin, all sleek, fat and shiny.
And if you aren’t that interested in art, this place is popular with skateboarders too!