Equestrian Statue of Carlos IV

El Caballito

When it was created, this was the largest sculpture ever made in the Americas and ever to be cast in one piece. 

Since 1979, Manuel Tolsá’s masterpiece has presided over the plaza named for this sculptor from Valencia. The statue on horseback depicts the monarch Charles IV of Spain dressed as a Roman emperor riding a strong, high-stepping horse, in line with Roman sculptural tradition. 

Tolsá melted the bronze for the statue in the garden of the Colegio de San Gregorio. It took fourteen months to cut, file, engrave, and polish the sculpture. 

The installation of the sculpture was quite the event—it took five days to move El Caballito from the former Jesuit school to the then Plaza Mayor (main square) where it was first located. 

Weighing almost 13 tons, it is the world’s second-largest copper-alloy statue to be created in one casting, and it still stands today. 

The statue was moved several times. After crowning the Plaza Mayor, it stood in the old university’s garden for about thirty years. Then, it adorned the intersection of Bucareli and Paseo de la Reforma. Finally, on August 28, 1979, it was placed in Plaza Manuel Tolsá. 




Estatua Ecuestre de Carlos IV, Tacuba, Centro, Colonia Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico

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