Spring is in full swing in Madrid and the Retiro Park looks more beautiful than ever: a succession of colorful fragrant blooms, people sunbath and squirrels come down from the trees, while collecting fruit. Today we suggest you a tour through the most famous park in Madrid!
The Fallen Angel
Many tourists do not know but in Madrid you can see one of the few statues in the world dedicated to the Devil (the Fallen Angel). Interestingly, if you come to this part of the park with an altimeter, you will get the magic figure of 666 meters. Coincidence or not?
This area was designed in the eighteenth century by a French gardener who was inspired by the palaces of the Bourbon dynasty in France. If you are passionate about botany, this part will be very interested for you. The variety of plants and species is truly amazing: laurel, boxwood, cypress, cedar, magnolia, etc. The center of the parterre is dominated by a statue of the great playwright Jacinto Benavente (1866-1954) who is among the select group of Spanish winners of the Nobel Prize.
The Republica Argentina Avenue is decorated with numerous sculptures of different Spanish Kings. Originally these sculptures were made in the eighteenth century and were placed in the cornice of the Royal Palace. However, shortly after the King Carlos III decided to place them in different parts of the city.
Undoubtedly, this part of the park is one of the most popular among tourists. In the past, the pond was used by the King Felipe IV to recreate epic naval battles. So much time has passed since then, and nowadays couples, tourists and families rent boats and have a good time feeding the fish and ducks. The amazing sculpture that presides over the pond represents the King Alfonso XII and measures more than 20 meters.
Chapel of San Pelayo and San Isidoro
The best kept secret of the Retiro Park are the remains of the Chapel of San Pelayo and San Isidoro. Incredibly, this beautiful Romanesque chapel was built in the twelfth century in Avila (120 kilometers from Madrid). During the ecclesiastical confiscations (“desamortización”) in the nineteenth century the small chapel was demolished and later the remains were transferred to Madrid.
According to the chronicles, the King Fernando VII (19th century) was looking for a place to relax, meditate and read away from the bustle of the Royal Palace. King´s advisers offered him different locations but the King chose this isolated part of the park. The house was decorated with plush furnishings brought from France and the nobility organized lavish feasts for exclusive guests.
The Crystal Palace
Don´t leave the Retiro Park without visiting this beautiful building. The Crystal Palace was built in the nineteenth century for an exhibition on the Philippines (former Spanish colony). The building in question was used as a greenhouse for plants and trees brought from the Philippines.
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