At the entrance of the Alameda Gardens, you will come across an unusual statue that is of two women dressed in a rather eccentric way and with most peculiar features. There are the famous Marias or “las dos en punt” (two o’clock on the dot), two much loved characters of Santiago de Compostela.
The story of Doña Coralia and Doña Maruxa Fandiño Ricart
In the 1950s up to the 70s, the walk through the park in the early afternoon was a social obligation that almost nobody wanted to miss.
The majority of the participants in this walk were students but its true protagonists were the Marias, Doña Coralia and Doña Maruxa Fandiño Ricart.
At two o’clock exactly – hence their nickname – every single day, they would leave their house to take their daily stroll from the Alameda to the Plaza del Toral and back again.
Eventhough, they struggled with poverty and hunger they always dressed up to the nines, in brightly coloured clothes for these walks, their faces made up like dolls – clashing with the grey atmosphere of the Franco dictatorship. And as they strolled, they flirted and winked at the handsomest of the students. Coralia, the youngest and tallest, was shy and not very talkative, while Maruxa, smaller although older, was the one who ruled the roost. They adored to be flattered and responded to more vulgar comments with dignified haughtiness.
They are known as one of the most representative icons of the city of Santiago de Compostela, and a symbol of the social and institutional abuse protected by the regime of General Francisco Franco in the 50s and 70s.
The sculpture dates fro 1994, made by the Basque sculptor Césal Lombera based on a polychrome photograph of the two ladies.