With more than 15,000 trees of different species and 125 hectares of gardens, the “Retiro Park” is the lung of Madrid.
El Retiro is the favourite park for tourists thanks to its central location and is the scene of various activities. With its many attractions, it is one of the 10 most visited places in Madrid.
History of the Retiro Park
The Catholic Monarchs frequented this gardens that belonged to the Jerónimos Monastery and this fact is proven in the comments of Cardinal Cisneros in the year 1516 «The monastery of San Jerónimo outside the walls of the town of Madrid, as the court is here most of the time, the royal persons and many other knights of the court».
It is in the 17th century when the Count-Duke of Olivares devised a space for King Felipe IV and his court around the Jerónimos Monastery and from then onwards its importance increased gradually and finally in the year 1767 Carlos III allowed the entrance to the public for recreational purpose, and finally, after the revolution of 1868 is permanently opened to the public. One century later, in 1935 it was declared an Artistic-Historic Garden.
Of this Monastery we it is left its Church and the Cloister that must be visited through the Prado Museum of which it is now a part.
Components of the Retiro Park
The Parque del Buen Retiro houses numerous gardens that run through its entire length. Among its architectural and historical elements you can enjoy sculptures, monuments dedicated to famous people, squares, sports facilities, ponds and terraces where you can have a drink.
It contains different ornamentations among which stands out The Big Lake that has existed since its inauguration and offers several activities such as rowing boats during the day and the Municipal School of Canoeing for children and young people from 7 to 17 years old.
At one of the lake sides stands out the Monument to Alfonso XII that borders the lake is a project by the architect José Grasés Riera from the 20th century. The work frames the lake. With those two elements, any photograph will look like a postcard.
The Cristal Palace
The Crystal Palace was built in 1887 and it is an iron and glass construction. The most beautiful thing about the palace is the integration of its structure with the nature that surrounds it.
The Palacio de Velázquez
Actually the Palacio de Velázquez, located nearby the Crystal Palace, hosts temporary exhibitions from the Reina Sofía Museum, and holds a nice exterior made of two-tone bricks and ornate tiles.
Gardens into Retiro Park
In the Cecilio Rodríguez Gardens we can find small ponds, water fountains, sculptures, vines that climb columns, pergolas and numerous Peacocks.
La Rosaleda was built in 1915 and houses 4,000 rose bushes in its approximately 0.8 hectares and the Parterre Garden contains the Bald Cypress, a species that has been in the park since its inception and is considered the oldest tree in Madrid.
The King’s Reserve includes the wishes of King Ferdinand VII as an Artificial Mountain, or the Fisherman’s House, which is nothing more than a construction supported by a platform in the middle of a small pond and the Smuggler’s House, currently known as the Florida Retiro, which after its remodeling functions as a restaurant, terrace and show room.
Walking through its gardens we can find the Monument to the Fallen Angel that represents Lucifer at the moment of his expulsion from paradise.
More to do near the Retiro in Madrid
Near the Plaza, you have the Art Triangle, formed and three of the best museums in the world. You also have the San Jerónimo Parish, the Plaza de la Cibeles, From there you can make the plan to visit Madrid in 1 day or these tips for your first visit to Madrid.
Our accommodations in Madrid
We have apartments for months in the Centro area, the apartments for months in the Retiro area and as a quieter and less touristy area you can consider the apartments for months in the Salamanca district.
For a short stay we have apartments for days next to Calle Serrano and Paseo de la Castellana, in the Escultor Building and accommodation by category: list of apartments for companies or our list of apartments for students.
Pretending to live in Madrid?
If you are a Madrid passionate considering to invest in Madrid visit or Golden Visa page to obtain a permanent residence in Spain.