Parque del Retiro
and Jardín Botánico

Park Retiro, or Parque del Buen Retiro, is the large park in the east end of the city center and its green lung. It first it was a royal park, and then only open for the noble until the 19th century. Statues, sculptures, trees growing from the water, a transparant glass palace, a palace dedicated to Velázquez, theaters and a lake filled with pedal boats in front of the large Alfonso XII monument. A lot of beautiful spruces, palms, other trees and flowers can be seen, very different from the vegetation i Scandinavia that we used with. It was partly green, despite we visited in February. The Botanical Garden, Jardin Botánico, is just next to the park.

Parque del Retiro, the main gate:

Puerta de la Independencia, the northwest gate to Retiro park. It was originally meant to be placed at a palace dedicated to Fernando VII:s wife.

During our visit in February 2011, there was a temporary exhibition with not so beautiful sculptures, meant to symbolize Alhambra and its meeting of cultures.
What is the point of using these strong, childish colors?

A fountain near the entrance.

Alfonso XII Monument:

Alfonso XII Monument, or Glorietta. A beautiful monument by the lake, Estanque, where people were driving around in blue pedal boats this beautiful but windy
Saturday in February.

The monument was completed in 1922 as a tribute to King Alfronso XII. People are relaxing at the colonnade.

One of Alfonso's wifes.

Mariano Benlliure designed the statue of the king on his horse.

Fuente de la Alcachofa, the "Artichoke Fountain", was drawn by Ventura Rodriguez. Its granite was taken from Sierra de Guadarrama and the stone from Colmenar.

This monument resembles Egypt with its sfinxes.

Palacio del Cristal:

Palacio de Cristal, modelled after London's Crystal Palace that doesn't exist anymore. Drawn in a shape of a Greek cross by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco.

It is possible to look right through the palace.

At the time for our visit, there was a sculpture made of laundry baskets, resembling crystal. Crazy but nice!

An artificial waterfall at an artificial mountain, created in the 1820s, when the park was transformed.

A rainbow in the flushing fountain.

These trees are standing in the water! This is the second lake.

Palacio de Velázquez:

Palacio de Velázquez. Retiro's exhibiton hall, created by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco.

The Lucifer sculptures at the entrance of Palacio de Velázquez.

The south part of the park:

A tall pine tree.

There are also palms in Retiro.

El Angel Caido. Probably the world's only monument dedicated to Lucifer.

It was designed by Ricardo Bellver and was unveiled in 1878.

Noria de la Real Fábrica de Porcelana (Wheel of the Royal Porcelain Factory). The factory was destroyed by English army in Napoleonics wars.

The cherry trees blossom. In February Madrid is like Swedish summer!

Paseo del Duque, leading to the southwest gate.


Around Retiro:

Calle de Alfonso XII.

Calle Claudio Moyano is a hilly promenade that leads down to Plaza del Emperador Carlos V. The right side is filled with small book shops.

Part of Ministerio de Agricultura.

The book shops at Calle Claudio Moyano.

A beautiful church from 1920 on Calle Alcalá just next to Park Retiro. The name is Iglesia Parroquial de San Manuel y San Benito.

Torre de Valencia, a pretty dull 30-storey highrise close to the park. It was built in 1970.

The symbol of Madrid, El oso y el madroño, can be seen on every drain. The symbol is also a sculpture on Puerta del Sol.


Real Jardín Botánico:

Jardín Botánico, Madrid's Royal Botanical Gardens, are situated just next to Parque del Retiro and Prado Museum. We had to stress through it to beacuse we
had a daytrip to Segovia on our schedule the same day, something we regret since we missed the Segovia trip, because we got the wrong information about
the train - both at the hotel and at the station! So it would have been much better to relax in the botanical gardens all the day.

It was inaugurated in 1781. The 3 terraces are according to Juan de Villanueva's drawings. There are many statues of royalties, and the Swedish botanist Carl von Linné.

The gate to Real Jardín Botánico. You have to pay a small entrance fee.

Museo del Prado seen from the entrance to the gardens.

Carlos III statue.

The pavilion with the Swedish Carl von Linné sculpture in front.

Some of the palms.

This skeleton is here seen from Paseo del Prado.

The Royal Botanical Garden is a very nice place to relax.