The Buen Retiro Park near the Prado Museum is a popular park in Madrid. The large (1.4 km2 ) park was originally laid out as a garden for the castle grounds Buen Retiro. Philip II (Felipe II) lived in the El Escorial palace northwest of the Madrid but during Lent and during hot spells, he retired into the monastery of San Jeronimo el Real.
For this purpose, Gaspar de Guzmán, the Count-Duke of Olivares created a baroque palace complex and the gardens around the monastery. At the same time, the Palacio Royal was set up, the Court moved in 1764.
During the conquest of Madrid by French troops in 1808, the castle and large parts of the monastery were destroyed or badly damaged.
Only the Cason del Buen Retiro, which today is part of the Prado and the former throne room Salón de Reinos, which houses the Museo del Ejercito (the Army Museum), remained preserved.
Parque del Retiro
After the fall of Isabel II in 1868, the park passed into the possession of the city and was extended to a recreational oasis.
Since Madrid has domestically no beach, the water surface of the artificial pond, Estanque del Retiro and its banks are welcome spots to stay on a hot day.
The densely planted park provides cooling by the shady trees.
The main entrance is the Puerta Felipe IV from 1690 which was brought here during the construction of the perimeter fence.
Behind the Estanque del Retiro rises the national monument with the equestrian statue of King Alfonso XII.
Spread over the park are several fountains, a rose garden, a museum of astronomy and an exhibition hall, which serves as a branch of the Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.
We enjoy life on this hot summer day near the water
and leave the park through a side exit to Calle de Alcalá, at the end of which is the Plaza Indepencia with the Puerta de Alcalá, a former city gate of Madrid dating from 1778.
Please read on > Cable car ride Casa de Campo
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