Curious story of two parliamentary lions

vickylass By vickylass, 4th Dec 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3bw7ivhg/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Culture

As it is said, third time lucky and the two majestic lions were made using bronze to guard the parliamentary main entrance.

Curious story of two parliamentary lions

Every year, the Spanish Parliament commemorates the 1978 Constitution at the end of Franco's dictatorship. This Constitution was decreed on December 6th 1978 and since then such a day is a holiday and the government open the Parliament doors to whoever wants to go inside to visit it. On the rest of the year visits are restricted to booked ones in advance as well as these people who want to follow the sessions in the public gallery.
It'd been long that I wanted to visit it, but every year for one reason or another I missed it out.
It's been on this year when I decided to go. I was eager to go inside through the majestic front door with its two famous lions on both sides and I wondered if they were going to let us go through it. They didn't, but we went in through one of the rear doors.
The tour was the usual stuff on such occasions. First of all, a group of us were welcomed by one of the parliamentary ushers to tell us some detailed information on how to go through its multiple corridors and members of Parliament work rooms till we reached to the hemicycle -the blue seats are for the government and the red ones for the opposition parties that have achieved to gain a seat in parliament in a general election. Note that a party must have five elected members to have its own parliamentary group as minimum.. If a party gets less than five members, they'll join in the group known as mixed group. They have a right to speak their voice, but they can't vote whatever it's discussed in the Chamber.
When I left, I looked at the two equally majestic lions at the main entrance of the Parliament. They have a curious story.
When this Parliament was opened in 1850, on such a place they had placed two street lights, but they weren't very attractive and because of countless protests, they decided to remove them and thought of what they could put on the empty place. Thus, they thought that two sculptures would suit appropriate and they asked to the sculptor Ponzano to work on the project. He thought of two lions would go well.
These sculptures should have been made with noble materials such as bronze, but times were difficult for the economy of the country and the sculptor used cast painted in grey to resemble bronze. However, on a given year, the weather conditions were extremely bad and the two lions were damaged.
A second sculptor used stone this time to sculpt these lions, but not being suitable this time again, there was a third try and as it is said, third time lucky
The Spanish economy recovered with the war in Africa, because Spanish soldiers had captured two canons from the enemy and the bronze of these canons was used to sculpt the lions.
The canons were melt in Seville in 1866 and the stone made ones were taken tothe Monforte Gardens in Valencia as a curiosity.
At long last the lions had been made with a noble material to guard the Parliament and to tourists' admiration and cameras.

© Copyright. Vicky Pino. December 4th 2015.

Tags

Bronze, Canons, Cast, Economy, Gardens, Sculptor, Stone

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Feature article writer whose motto is that inspiration does exist, but it has to meet us at work.

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author avatar Retired
4th Dec 2015 (#)

He looke a bit like the lion I have on my desk as I write this - but mine is a lot smaller!

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author avatar M G Singh
5th Dec 2015 (#)

nice post

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