Located in the heart of Retiro Park, the “Palacio de Cristal” in an iconic place. The Crystal Palace is surrounded by beautiful views and monuments, and in front of it is a small artificial lake that enhances its beauty and allows for unique photos.

The Crystal Palace of Madrid. The essential corner within El Retiro.

Enjoy a nod to light and transparency surrounded by nature and water. In reality, it is a monumental and diaphanous structure of iron and glass in the shape of a Greek cross. Its metallic structure, covered with large glass plates, creates a transparent architectural space in which light enters through all its walls and vaults, creating nuances of reflections and colors.

The Palacio de Madrid is one of the most relevant iron constructions in Spain. Its architect, Ricardo Velázquez Bosco, was inspired by the “Crystal Palace” in London, built in 1851.

Daniel Zuloaga is responsible for the ceramic decoration used in friezes and small finishes, highlighting the figures of grotesques with duck heads.

In front of its entrance, as a reception, several specimens of swamp cypress (Taxodium distichum) can be observed, whose main characteristic is that part of its trunk and roots are under water. The swamp is surrounded by horse chestnuts. At the edge of the staircase, parents and children feed ducks, swans, and geese.

Any time is a good time to visit, although each moment of the day gives it a different charm. Due to its orientation, in the morning the sun shines directly on the main facade, while at noon everything is equally illuminated, and at sunset, a special backlight effect is created.

Curiosities of the Crystal Palace

The palace was originally conceived as a greenhouse to accommodate tropical plants for the Flora Exhibition of the Philippine Islands (1887), a Spanish colony at that time.

After the exhibition, it was used as the venue for the National Fine Arts Exhibition, held every two years, and later, in 1936, it was the place where Manuel Azaña was elected as President of the Republic.

In 1975, its first restoration was carried out, returning the structure to its original conception. Currently, the Crystal Palace is one of the exhibition venues of the Reina Sofía National Museum of Art, so you will have the opportunity to visit one of its temporary exhibitions.

For information on schedules or how to get there, you have this link to the Crystal Palace on the Madrid City Council website.

Other things to see near the Crystal Palace

If you want more places to visit around the Crystal Palace in Madrid, we recommend this plan to visit Madrid in one day. We also have a suggestion for your first visit to Madrid, or this one about the 10 most visited places in Madrid.

Artículo Dflat - El Palacio de Cristal

Our closest accommodations

For travelers, we have apartments in the El Retiro Park area bordering the retiro in Madrid City center as well. We also run short term apartment rentals.
We also provide apartments for companies or for students.