The centerpiece of the Central Gardens at Plaza de Oriente is this equestrian statue of Felipe IV. Sculptor Pietro Tacca created the tribute in 1640. The artist required Galileo’s help to design the 39.4 foot, bronze statue so it could be supported on the back legs of the rearing horse. Philip IV was the King of Spain from 1621 through 1665. He was the second to the last ruler in the Spanish Habsburg line dating back to 1496. Despite his moniker of Philip IV the Great, historians claim his rule began the decline of Spain’s world power.