1 – PRAYING WOMAN
2 – IBERIAN ARMCHAIR
3 – THE OWL
Carved in sandstone or ashlar from the same quarry, this piece is camouflaged among the vegetation. The artist wanted to make this figure as a symbol of vision of the occult, since these animals are capable of seeing in the dark.
They are also considered in some cultures to be messengers between earthly and spiritual creatures. It is Iberian in style and measures 1.20 meters high.
4 – WOLF FOUNTAIN
The main figure of this fountain is the head of a wolf within a circle.
The artist wanted to create this fountain where all the properties that the wolf symbolizes emanate, such as intelligence, cunning, loyalty, confidence and energy. It is created from a horizontal block.
The head is in the center of the scrolled block. Below it is a stack with moldings and blocks with Iberian rosettes.
5 – THE FROG
6 – FLOWER POT
7 – THE RAM
8 – THE LION
Considered by the artist to be ‘El Guardian del Coto Las Canteras’, it was built from a mass of 52 tons and is 4.60 meters high, the result of a landslide. Currently, near the lion a hole can be seen in a corner of the quarry due to the detachment impact.
The artist had been looking at that great stone for years, dreaming of one day “taking out the lion that he saw”. The owner wanted to break the stone to make a «monument to the oil mill», but the artist refused saying that «If you want to break the stone, I will not break it.» Finally, in 2006 the owner told the artist to do with the stone what he wanted. After several studies the artist was able to carry out this work by adapting the position of the lion to the shape of the stone, which is why he is seated.
He is represented with his mouth open and large fangs between which his tongue sticks out in a threatening manner fulfilling his mission to protect this space. The finished work weighs approximately 14,500 kg. It is 3.50 meters wide and 2.50 meters high.
9 – WHEEL MILLSTONE
10 – TRIBUTE TO THE ASHLARS
11 – THE HORN PLAYERS
12 – IBERIAN THRONE
This throne is dedicated to all those stonemasons who during long and exhausting days extracted the stone from this quarry for the construction of buildings. It symbolizes an offer of rest. You can see a strip of waves as a headboard, and two birds looking out with open wings, a long beak and crossed legs.
On the sides are two eses with spirals. Under the birds a strip of diamonds with two unicorn horns at the ends can be seen. On the armrests there are some heads as a trophy symbol and four rosettes under the seat.
13 – THE SHIELD OF LAS CANTERAS
Centered on the top of the entrance door is the coat of arms of Las Canteras. The design is inspired by the coat of arms of Osuna, which according to some authors is the oldest in Spain (1st century). This was carved on the ground from a misshapen stone of 7.5 tons; once finished it weighed 3800 kg. It has two dolmens, a symbol of the quarries.
On top of the dolmens is a griffin (mythological creature) with a woman’s head, on the sides there are two chained bears with a necklace around their necks, in one hand a laurel branch and in the other a laurel wreath as a symbol of victory. It measures 2.5 meters high.
The paint used to make the drawings and ornamentation of these jars is made with ancient techniques. Ocher-colored stone from the quarry itself, natural resin, sap, red earth, brown powder, linseed oil, turpentine, etc. have been used. It has been necessary to heat the jar with fire for the correct adhesion of the paint. It has different stripes and bands of color.
A stripe with a kind of winged bird with a person’s head stands out; there are floral scrolls, heart leaves, rosettes in the shape of an ‘X’, and a vertical border with wavy stripes, a spiral scroll and Iberian signs. These ancient jars were used to store wine or oil.
ENTRANCE ALTARPIECE TO THE AUDITORIUM
Inside the quarry is this impressive work resembling an altarpiece, with a height of almost 13 meters, a width of 8.50 meters and a depth of up to 1.25 meters. It represents the reward of collecting the fruit of one’s work and effort. It is full of hundreds of details and the occasional mystery known only to the author. One of the most remarkable details are the carved faces on each grape of the bunch.
The harvester has a height of 4.50 meters and represents the Iberian Prince (Noah’s last grandson, who cultivated grapes), whose subjects founded the Villa de Osuna. The trunk of the vine is broken, representing lightning, a symbol of power. In this trunk, a couple making love can be seen slightly. As storage for the wine, a product of the harvest, a hollow “wicker” basket has been carved allowing for a barrel of wine to be put inside; the basket has a height of 1.65 meters. The entire lower part of the altarpiece consists of a bottle rack carved to store bottles. Between the baskets are two dolmens with the Iberian flutists of Osuna looking towards the center, and on top two rams fight for the female. The large figure on the left is a pregnant woman with one hand on her belly caressing her child and with the other a jug of wine or «head» juice. Among multiple details, each one with a meaning, we can find a child eating a bunch of grapes or «heads»; at the top of the grape harvest are two Iberian dogs, catapult balls, and 2 meter Iberian warriors guarding the coats of arms of the surnames of the owners (Ramos and Lobo). On the sides the universal flood is represented by waterfalls, lightning, Noah’s ark, great waves, people drowning in the sea, the indalo, a unicorn, pegasus, and a ‘griffin’ of a winged horse with a woman’s head fighting with a bear. Under the shields in the form of a border there are a series of acorns, the penultimate being replaced by a phallus symbol of fertility and the one in the center by a unicorn horn symbolizing the artist’s tool.
As a curious and «mysterious» fact, in the upper left corner there is a carved 80 cm face that the author wanted to project for an unknown reason, and to his right there is a hole with an owl eating a mouse.
To the right on the same wall, there is a Rosetta Stone with the name of the author for whom it was made and the dedication.
This work is inspired by the text of the book «Fortaleza íbera en Osuna» by Arthur Engel and Pierre Paris.
INTERIORS, EVENTS ROOM / AUDITORIUM
Walking through the interior is traveling through time. Not only because the walls and cuts in them are the irrefutable proof of centuries of work and daily struggle, but because taking in its immensity transports you through history as only the pyramids of Egypt, the Jordanian Petra and very few other places in the world do. The Coto Las Canteras has a height that reaches up to 25 m. It has a natural climate that allows you to enjoy a constant temperature of 22ºC, and perfect acoustics with a capacity for 600 guests, 800 seats for recitals and conventions, and a capacity of 1,400 people for events.
This place has witnessed numerous and diverse events: television and video shoots, fashion shows, concerts, recitals, charity galas and cultural talks. Visitors have been struck by the beauty of the place, sometimes dedicating grandiloquent words to such a unique space, words that resonated with force under the thick walls, sharp corners and high ceilings of El Coto.