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El Retiro Park, Park in Madrid, Spain top-rated tourist attraction

El Retiro Park

Park in Madrid

Spain's top-rated tourist attraction

El Retiro Park, Park in Madrid, Spain top-rated tourist attraction

El Retiro Park

Buen Retiro Park, Retiro Park or simply El Retiro is one of the largest parks in the city of Madrid, Spain. The park belonged to the Spanish monarchy until the end of the 19th century when it became a public park. In 2021, Bueno Retiro Park became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Paseo del Prado.

Buen Retiro Park is a large and popular 1.4 km2 (350 acres) park on the edge of the city center, very close to the Puerta de Alcalá and not far from the Prado Museum. Its grounds include gardens, statues and other monuments, galleries, an artificial lake and venues for various events. The park is completely surrounded by the present city.

In 1505, during the reign of Isabella I (r. 1474–1504) the Jerónimos monastery was moved from an unsuitable site elsewhere to the present site of San Jerónimo el Real Church, and a new monastery was built in the Isabelline Gothic style. The royal family built a retreat as part of the church.

El Retiro Park, Park in Madrid, Spain top-rated tourist attraction

Features of the park

Near the park's northern entrance is the Istanque del Retiro ("Retiro Pond"), a large artificial pond. Next to it is the Monument to King Alfonso XII, with a semicircular colonnade and an equestrian statue of the king at the top of a high central core.

The Rosaleda (Rose Garden) is an early 20th-century feature inspired by the Bagatelle rose garden of the Bois de Boulogne. Near the rose stands the Fountain of the Fallen Angel, installed in 1922, whose main sculpture is El Angel Caido (top) by Ricardo Belvar (1845-1924), a work inspired by a passage in John Milton's Paradise Lost. which represents the fall of Lucifer from heaven. This statue is claimed to be the only known public monument to Satan.

The few remaining buildings of the Buen Retiro Palace, including the Casa del Buen Retiro and the Salon de Reinos, are now museum collections. The Cason houses a collection of 19th- and 20th-century paintings, including art by Spanish painter Joaquín Sorolla. Ejército, one of Spain's premier army museums, has moved to Toledo.

El Retiro Park, Park in Madrid, Spain top-rated tourist attraction

Activities of El Retiro Park

From late May to early October, every Sunday at noon, the Banda Sinfonica de Madrid gives free concerts from the park's bandstand near Calle de Alcalá. Manuel Lillo Torregrosa composed 'Kiosco del Retiro' on this bandstand.

The park also hosts an annual book fair. Not just an annual book fair, used book shelves where people drop off their used books, magazines or newspapers. There are events throughout the year such as concerts, fireworks shows, and holiday/cultural events.

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