Next to El Anciano Rey de los Vinos is the beautiful Plaza de Oriente, next to emblematic buildings such as Teatro Real, the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral.
Although it was an old project (it was already talked about in the eighteenth century), the main supporter of the construction of this square was King José I, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who began by demolishing the old houses that occupied the space of that today is the square and that it was not finished until the middle of the 19th century.
The square has different artistic gardens and a collection of 20 sculptures of Spanish Kings. The most famoous is the effigy of Felipe IV, sculpted by Pietro Tacca in the seventeenth century. It is considered the first statue of the world that is held only by the hind legs of the horse. Initially the square housed 44 sculptures, but in 1927 they were reduced to 20.
The gardens have changed a lot over the years. Until the forties of the last century, were arranged in a circle around the monument to Felipe IV, located in the center. However, in the present design the gardens are arranged in a grid pattern and the twenty statues of the Kings are placed longitudinally on the sides of the central statue.
Finally we will refer to the denomination of “oriente” that means “east”. Some people think that the name is due to its location at the east of the Royal Palace. Other theory is that the status of Mason of King José I (popularly known in Madrid as Pepe Botella), and for which he owed obedience to the “Great Orient of France “, would be the origin of the name.
In addition, during a recent remodeling of the square were discovered remains of the old Arab wall of Madrid, built in the ninth century. If you want to see these remains, you have to enter the underground parking below.
And when you finish your visit to this beautiful place, you know that we are waiting for you at El Anciano Rey, so you can taste the most traditional atmosphere of Madrid.