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Parque del Retiro (Madrid)

 Parque del Retiro (Madrid)




Subway: Retiro, Ibiza, Atoch
Open: daily




Description of Parque del Retiro

Parque del Retiro (Madrid)

Parque del Retiro in Madrid was first opened in 1860. This extensive park was originally part of the Felipe IV Royal Palace. Considered as one of the main tourist attractions of the city, it houses numerous architectural, sculptural and landscape collections from the 17th to the 21st centuries, including the Monument to Alfonso XII, the Palacio de Cristal, the Estanque Grande, the Parterre, the Door of Felipe IV, the Royal Astronomical Observatory and the source of the Artichoke; and even earlier, such as the hermitage of San Pelayo and San Isidoro, of Romanesque origin. One of the most loved features of Parque del Retiro is a picturesque lake surrounded by a forest. Here you can hire raw boats. Magnificent Colonnade that overlooks the lake is topped by a statue of Spanish king Alfonso XII. Neoclassical Palacio (Neoclassical Palace) and Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace) often holds various art exhibits. Both palaces are located south of the Parque del Retiro lake. They were constructed in 1887 by an architect Velazquez Bosco.


Parque del Retiro was built in the first half of the seventeenth century within the landscape project developed for the Buen Retiro Palace, an old royal possession created by the Count-Duke of Olivares (1587-1645) for the enjoyment of Philip IV (1605-1665), who was his valid. Its use as an urban park dates back to 1767, the year in which Carlos III (1716-1788) allowed the entrance of the public for recreational purposes and, definitively, from 1868, when it was under the ownership of the Madrid City Council. Due to the destruction caused by the War of Independence (1808-1814), its current appearance is the result of interventions made in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, although traces and original elements of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries survive.


With an area of ​​118 hectares (1 180 000 m²), it belongs administratively to the Retiro district, named after the park. It is bounded on the north by the streets of Alcalá and O'Donnell, on the south by the poet Esteban Villegas, on the west by Alfonso XII and on the east by Menéndez Pelayo avenue.

Parque del Retiro is protected as an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC), a legal figure that every declaration of historical garden has in the Spanish regulations. Within its limits live more than 19,000 trees, representing 167 species, including six specimens included in the list of unique trees of the Community of Madrid.





Monumental gates
The Retiro Park has seventeen entrances, conceived, to a large extent, as monumental gates.
Gate of Felipe IV . Work of the architect Melchor de Bueras (? - 1692 ) is the oldest monumental gate preserved in Madrid. It was made in 1680 inside Buen Retiro, to commemorate the arrival in the city of Queen Maria Luisa de Orleans ( 1662 - 1689 ), first wife of Carlos II ( 1661 - 1700 ). With the segregation suffered by the gardens during the reign of Isabel II ( 1830 - 1904 ), from which the Barrio de Los Jerónimos emerged, it was the object of a first transfer. In 1922 it was moved to its current location, as the entrance to the Parterre , and extended with two lateral openings, according to Luis Bellido's project ( 1869 - 1955 ). It is located on Alfonso XII Street , forming an axis with the Casón del Buen Retiro .
Gate of Independence. It was built in 1817 as the main entrance of the Casino de la Reina , a former royal possession located in the Ronda de Toledo . In 1885 she was transferred to the Retiro under the direction of José Urioste y Velada ( 1850 - 1909 ), architect and urban planner who undertook deep reforms in Madrid, such as the widening of the Gran Vía . It is of Doric order and is adorned in its auction with two sculptural groups of Valeriano Salvatierra ( 1788 - 1836 ). Located next to the Puerta de Alcalá, puts in contact the Plaza de la Independencia , from which it takes its name, with Paseo de México.
Gate of Spain . It was built in 1893 by the aforementioned Urioste , who used a scheme very similar to that of the Puerta de la Independencia. It consists of three bays, delimited by four large pedestals of Ionic order and closed by means of anartistic fence , made by Agustín Felipe Peró. It is located on Alfonso XII Street and connects Calle de Antonio Maura with Estanque Grande , through the Paseo de la Argentina (formerly known as the Estatuas).
Gate of Madrid. Located at the confluence of the streets of Alcalá and O? 'Donnell, near the Aguirre Schools , it opens onto Paseo de Fernán Núñez (or Paseo de Coches), the longest stretch of the Retiro. It was designed with a great amplitude, in order to facilitate the transit of vehicles. It is also due to Urioste, who conceived two large pillars of quadrangular plan, decorated with garlands and medallions with lion heads, in addition to an exempt column of compound order, located between both. 34 It was inaugurated in 1900 .
Gate of Hernani. In 1888 Urioste made a first gate, completely metallic, which was replaced in 1943 by another more monumental, from an initiative of the gardener Cecilio Rodríguez ( 1865 - 1953 ), who in that same year built the gardens there. 37 It is located on Calle de Alcalá and faces the Church of San Manuel and San Benito .




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