I’ve hurried up the stairs to Calle Serrano, then down them again to the Castellana countless times. One day, finding myself with a little time to kill, 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, nearly all born in the 1920’s, some well-known, others less so. The enormous hanging piece 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 in the photo, by Joan Miró. Titled Mère Ubu, it reminds 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!