Calle Alcalá/ Paseo del Prado
Madrid
 
El Parque del Retiro is the most important park in Madrid. It was developed over country fields in 1630 and was founded by the Duke of Olivares who built it exclusively for the monarchy. The original garden and lake still exist today, but other features such as fountains and churches have been added to the design. The park was opened in 1869 and currently covers 291 acres and has 11 playgrounds for children.

Today, El Retiro is one of the most visited parks in Madrid. There are several monuments within the park, for example the Palacio de Cristal, Palacio de Velázquez and various statues and it is also where many temporary art exhibitions are held. There is a rose garden which is beautiful in the summer and an artificial lake where rowboats can be hired. During the weekend the park is usually crowded with performers, mime artists, painters, singers and fortune-tellers entertaining visitors and tourists.

You can also practise sports within the park’s premises, such as cycling, jogging and skating. La Chopera sports centre has its own football pitch and fitness facilities.

 

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