The source of the Patos is located in a small square at the beginning of the Paseo del Pradoto the calle Montalbán. Despite being in a very busy place, next to the Cibeles, nonetheless be a spot somewhat hidden, in which it is pleasant to sit a while to rest.
The alley, elliptical in shape, is bounded by four pedestals topped by vases, United in its North and South sides by two large curved banks.
The pylon, of four lobes, is of granite. In the Center is a beautiful sculptural group of marble on a pedestal of stone cross.
It consists of four ducks United by the wings, with a pipe in each of their beaks. In the Center, another figure which could be an artichoke, which also flows the water is a basket with eight shells and at the top. In the North-South axis, in line with the sculptures, there are other two vertical pumps.
The font was installed at the end of the 1950s of the 20th century, when the municipal architect Manuel Herrero palaces reorganized this space during the reform carried out in the Paseo del Prado and its gardens. Four vases on the ancient pedestals were placed around the same time.
The data on the origin of the sculpture are unclear. The own palaces Herrero told the ducks before being moved to the Paseo del Prado were in the Casa de Campo, data that appears today on the website of the City Council. But according to Luis Miguel Aparisi Laporta, great expert and scholar of the parks in Madrid, no document relates this source with the Casa de Campo, and Yes the withdrawal. This sculptural group, says, was located in a pond in the plaza de Guatemala of the Parque del Retiro, where now stands the monument to General Martínez Campos, the work of Mariano Benlliure. The pond was named Swan pond, it would be the duck pond?.
The only thing that seems to be all over the world agree that this sculpture is very old, it might be in the mid-18th century.
The draft of the Plan Recoletos-Prado special this source appears as a protected element intended to be restored, as is the old stone pedestals that they accompany and classical stone banks that dot the promenade.
But is that the tide of monochord and cold granite that invades the land of Madrid, as the taste of the current Town Hall – and the majority of architects that they win the municipal contests lately by the way-, that swept away garden areas and former banks of stone of the Independence square and Atocha, the sources of the network of San Luis and Callao, it swept through the plaza of the Cortes…. is very close, has reached the gates of the new town hall in Cibeles, and threatening down the calle Montalbán. Will be frightened ducks?.
by Mercedes Gómez
Ayuntamiento de Madrid.
Recoletos-Prado special plan
M. Herrero palaces. Madrid, its gardens and parks. Villa de Madrid journal, no. 5. Madrid 1959.
Conference “Of the door of Atocha a la de Recoletos” by L.M. Aparisi Laporta on May 7, 2008 in the House of Guadalajara.