The Race Down Castellana Boulevard

r_fuente_neptuno_madrid_t2800098a_jpg_369272544Chasing a young thief, Kira, the main character of my novel, Kira and the Immigrant Thief, finds herself in front of the Fontana de Neptuno, a fountain that depicts the sea-god Neptune in a conch shell chariot pulled by sea-horses and surrounded by dolphins and seals. It was commissioned by Carlos III (1716-1788), the Bourbon ruler of Spain from whose line the present king of, Felipe VI, descends. The statue was sculpted by Juan de la Mena in white marble.


Subsequently Kira races onto Castellana Boulevard another of Carlos III’s urban projects. Carlos III subscribed to the principles of the Enlightenment and supported the arts, science and education. He sought to integrate Spain into the modern world, and demonstrate that her capital city, Madrid, rivaled other great European capitals like Paris and Rome.

The Bakery in Kira´s Plaza Mayor

Casa de la Panaderia (the bakery house), which constitutes most of the north side of Plaza Mayor, was included in Felipe II’s original plans for the plaza in 1619. Kira, the main character of my novel, would have noticed Carlos Franco’s mythical paintings, painted on the Panaderia’s façade in 1992. Luckily, she wouldn’t have realized that the bakery was used as a warehouse for grain during Felipe’s reign and that the bread was regularly thrown to the crowds during public executions. We stroll through the plaza daily and fail to notice any human rights violations that would stir Kira’s ire, unless it is a parched tourist overindulging in a pitcher of Sangria.