The Spanish Language Blog

Madrid is the cultural, economic and political heart of Spain. It is the largest city in Spain, so there are many attractions in Madrid. The Retiro Park in Madrid is like the Vondelpark in Amsterdam.

Vacations in Madrid

The Retiro Park in Madrid is the largest and most popular park in the city. The park has and area of 1.4 km². The official name of the park is El Retiro. In the past, "Jardin del Buen Retiro" was the name of the park. The park is located on the east side of the center of Madrid. The Golden Triangle of Madrid (Museo del Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía museum) is also located in the immediate vicinity of the park.

In 1632, King Philip IV's palace was built in the park. This palace was a kind of refuge for the royal family, hence the name Retiro which means refuge. The park was a private park for the royal family until 1869. From 1869, the park was opened to the public.
The Retiro park has a large pond where people can rent boats and escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Therefore, on weekends and holidays, the park is very popular with Madrileños. Due to the huge size of the park, the park is never too crowded. In addition to renting boats, it is also possible to take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park. Street musicians, street vendors and living statues are also not lacking in the park.

Palacio de Cristal

Besides the beautiful nature, there are also some buildings. In the south of the park is a smaller pond with the Palacio de Cristal adjacent to it. This palace was built in 1887 by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco using the Crystal Palace in London as an example. This palace houses exotic plants and temporary exhibitions. However, the Palacio de Cristal is not the only building designed by Velázquez. In 1884, he designed another building in the park, the Palacio de Velázquez. This palace used to be used for exhibitions of the mining, metal, glass and ceramic industries. Today, it houses art exhibitions.

Another impressive work in the park is the Galápagos Fountain. It was created in 1832 by José de Mariategui in honor of the birth of Isabel II. Four small angels, with dolphins and a snail adorn the top of the fountain. The structure of the fountain symbolizes the various allegories of long life, fertility and the upholding of traditional values such as wisdom and rectitude.

Part of the park is set up as a rose garden, "Roseleda. During a trip to Madrid, a visit to the Retiro Park should definitely not be missed.

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