Retiro Park. An oasis, in the desert of Madrid.

Monumento_a_Alfonso_XII_de_España2

Retiro Park is one of the places you can not leave Madrid without visiting it.  It´s birthday dates back to the XVII centurty, in the times of Phillip IV. Into its origins, this park was part of the Court , an it was in 1868 when it was declared municipal heritage, and therefore open to the public.

Spanish people call it simply “El Retiro” .The park is a large and popular 1.4 km2 (350 acres) park at the edge of the city centre, very close to  Puerta de Alcalá, and not far from the Prado Museum. A magnificent park, filled with beautiful sculptures and monuments, galleries, a peaceful lake, and a host to a variety of events, it is one of Madrid’s premier attractions. The park is entirely surrounded by the present-day city.

Parque del retiro

Attractive features

The Cristal Palace: this imppresive structure was planned to be a grennhouse for tropical plants, into it´s origins. It´s cristal vaults and walls will delight the visitor´s view. Nowadays it is used as an exhibition hall for the Reina Sofía´s museum. As an historical anecdote, this palace held Manuel Azaña´s proclamation, as the president of the second spanish republic, in 1936.

Palacio de cristal

The pond.

Another mythical place, with it´s typical little boats, ducks and carps. This artificial lake was built by order of Philip IV to recreate naval battles and aquatic shows.  Some times, even the monarch himself participated.

Nowadays, is a big focus for tourists. There you can rent a boat and sail around the pond for 45´ and about 6 euros/boat.

Sports, picnic, and free-time at El Retiro

The Retiro Park has become the meeting point for skaters, runners, groups of yoga, etc. A lot of sports are practised at this wonderful site. Also a lot of people just go for a walk inside, making picnic with some friends, take photographies, etc. Many street-artist make their performances there. Mimics, clowns, musicians… The entertainment options are numerous, including a library and an art gallery.

So, don´t forget to visit the park in your trip to Madrid, and take some beautiful photos.

 

Post written by Dan.

T4L staff.

 

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