Curiosities of the Retiro Park

Curiosities of the Retiro Park
28 Dec, 2020

In the heart of Madrid, home to beautiful natural treasures, essential for those who come to the capital, is the Retiro Park, the green lung of the city, with more than 15,000 trees and an area of 125 hectares.


In the heart of Madrid, home to beautiful natural treasures, essential for those who come to the capital, is the Retiro Park, the green lung of the city, with more than 15,000 trees and an area of 125 hectares. To access it, we can find up to 20 access gates, some of which are more colorful than others. You will always find many people walking around peacefully, and on a sunny Sunday, it becomes a meeting place worth visiting.

There are many reports about it, and some of its corners are already iconic images of Madrid. But, in this post we want to tell you some things that not everyone knows, which makes it even more special.

  • Its origin dates back to the mid-seventeenth century as a gift from the Duke of Olivares to Philip IV. For more than two centuries, these gardens were reserved for the exclusive use of the monarchs until the revolution returned them to the citizens in 1868.
  • The pond that we now cross by boat is 1.80 meters deep and was built by order of Philip IV to recreate the naval battles in which he liked to participate. It used to have six waterwheels to supply it with water.
  • The official name "Estanque Grande del Retiro" is one of the most visited spaces. You can practice rowing and you have been celebrating for several years the swimming competition "Travesía Invernal a Nado de El Retiro".
  • In 2001, due to technical problems, it was necessary to empty the lake. They found everything from chairs to sinking boats, tables, cell phones, umbrellas, scooters, wallets, shoes...And fish, lots of fish - there are an estimated 5,000, of which carp weighing about 12 kg live.
  • The Rose Garden of the Retiro contains more than 4,000 rosebushes. The best time of year is May and June, which are the months when they bloom. It was designed in 1915 by Celio Rodriguez, a local senior gardener.
  • The Crystal Palace is worth a visit for its orientation and the natural light that illuminates it during the early hours of the day. It was designed to house a tropical plant exhibition hall, so it is similar to a greenhouse. Since 1990 it has been one of the venues of the Reina de Sofia Museum, so we can often find some art.
  • The oldest tree in the Community of Madrid is here: it is a cypress tree, which we find in the street Alfonso XII on the west side. It was set in 1663 and is definitely planned to be preserved for a few more years.
  • The statue of the Fallen Angel, sculpted by Ricardo Bellver, is the only public and authorized sculpture of Lucifer that can be found in the world. It is in the Paseo de Cuba, over a fountain, 666 meters above sea level.
  • The forest of memory or of the absent. It pays homage to the victims on March 11, 2004. It is composed of 170 cypresses and 22 olive trees.

 

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