Parque del Buen Retiro - Parque del Buen Retiro information and pictures

The Parque del Buen Retiro is a spectacular urban oasis of 130 hectares of aromatic bay leaf trees, ponds, rose gardens, stunning fountains and museums. The Retiro Park features the former grounds of Real Sitio del Buen Retiro Palace, a 17th century weekend palace of King Philips IV. Although the original palace has since been torn down, two remaining palace buildings remain within the park, which now serve as museums. The main park entrance sits behind the Alcala Gate in the Plaza de la Independence.

Park Museums - The Retiro Park offers four popular museums that are worth a visit for the architecture alone. The Museo del Ejército is a former palace building that houses a Spanish army museum, featuring armor from the middle ages, the sword of El Cid and the cross that accompanied Columbus to the New World. The other palace building, the Casón del Buen Retiro, is the former ballroom and offers permanent exhibits of 19th and 20th century paintings by Picasso, Madrazo and Sorolla from the Prado Museum.

The Palacio de Cristal is a stunning steel and glass structure, based on the Crystal Palace in London, designed by Velázquez Bosco for a Philippine international exhibition in 1887. It originally served as a greenhouse for exotic plants from the Philippines and is now used for exhibits of contemporary art from the Museo Reina Sofía.

Velázquez Bosco also designed the Palacio de Velázquez, in 1884 for yet another international exhibition. The Palacio features unique brickwork, a painted dome and exhibits contemporary art collections.

Fountains - The Retiro Park is known for its two famous fountains, the fountain of the Fallen Angel and the Artichoke fountain. The Fallen Angel fountain is notable for its statue of Satan, known as El Angel Caído, designed by Ricardo Bellver in 1885, which depicts the devil’s banishment from paradise. This unusual granite fountain is the only fountain in the world with Satan as its theme.

The Artichoke fountain has been a beloved Madrid landmark since architect; Ventura Rodriguez constructed it from granite and white stone in 1781. Originally located in the Glorieta de Atocha, a busy Madrid street, it was relocated to the Retiro Park because all the attention it garnered caused traffic problems. The fountain features an elaborate baroque design complete with tritons, Greek gods and of course, an artichoke.
Retiro park Madrid
How to get to Retiro Park: By Subway to Retiro, Ibiza, Atocha stations; Line 2,9

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