Saturday, October 10, 2015

Day 10: Wild horses

On Dasher, on Dancer, on - not quite, but all you have to do is look up at the rooftop of the BBVA bank headquarters in Madrid to see why I´m imagining thundering hooves. There are 32 of them up there!

Two quadriga are ready to gallop right off the roof and catch anyone trying to steal the bank´s treasure.
these guys are huge!
Huge, and not to mention heavy - we´re talking 25 tons of copper, bronze lead and steel. It´s a Basque bank, so only fitting that the sculptor should be Basque sculptor Higinio Basterra. Originally, the statues were covered in gold leaf, furthering transmitting the symbol of power and strength of the bank.They were painted black during the Spanish Civil War, since giant gold shiny horses would have made the bank an easy target for air attacks. 

Basterra completed the sculptures in Bilbao, where he lived, and sent them to Madrid by train. Imagine his horror when, upon arrival, one horse was missing! Basterra himself travelled around the city looking for it, finally finding the runaway just outside of Madrid.

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