Buen Retiro Park – The “Park of the Pleasant Retreat”
In the month of February, we visited Madrid, realising that in this country you can enjoy parks all year round. One of the parks we wanted to see was the Buen Retiro Park; one of the largest parks in the capital of Spain.
Aside from other days, whilst staying in Madrid – the weather was just perfect. It seemed that we were not the only ones making good use of the sunny Sunday’s to walk in the park. Once we arrived, it looked so peaceful – people sitting in beer gardens, watching the small boats on the lake in the middle of the park, children playing and friends chatting – a perfect idyll.
The park was extensive – we walked around for at least 3 hours. At some point, I felt that the day would be wasted without taking photos. Whilst walking, I searched for a composition which would depict the park in the best manner. It wasn’t difficult to find an interesting spot and after a little wandering, we saw a small pond with Crystal Palace in the background.
A little history of “Parque del Buen Retiro”
The “Parque del Buen Retiro” was created during the early 15th century and enlarged by King Philip II at the end of this century. In 1630, several buildings were erected: “Casón del Buen Retiro” (used as a ballroom) and “Salón de Reinos” (Hall of Kings) decorated by paintings, for example “Velázquez”. At this time, the great pond “Estanque del Retiro” was also built as a set for mock of naval battles.
In my photograph, you will see “Palacio de Cristal” inspired by The Crystal Palace in London, United Kingdom. It was built together with the artificial pond, a little later than other ensembles of the park and exactly in 1887. From the beginning, Crystal Palace was used to display flower species from Spain.
On the day we visited this glass pavilion there was no exhibition inside. When we entered this building, we heard voices of exotic birds – a “hearing exhibition of nature’s voices!” We then walked along the Palace, noticing a small pond filled with turtles that were raising their heads up from the water to catch some sun. I just had to take a photo of this place – even if it would just be for our memories.
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