Madrid has a surprisingly rich collection of gardens of artistical and historical interest.

In the heart of old Castile, there is a perfect mixture of the old traditions derived from the wise arab and roman agronomic culture and of the refined techniques of the flemish gardeners whom Phillip II brought from the Netherlands; a combination of the sumptuousness and luxury of a Versailles as a royal court, under the first Bourbons, and the italian refinement and elegance of sculptors and architects from Naples and Sicily.

These lovely old gardens have a personality of their own. They are hidden jewels which Madrid offers to its admiring, surprised tourist and have been little known and promoted so far by the travel agencies.

We can choose from the little visited Moorish Camp, - where Muslim leader made his camp in other times to assault the old fortress - the gardens of the Pardo Palace, - the former royal residence since the times of Henry III of Castile - the game areas of which were already mentioned in the "Libro de la Montería", - a hunting book by Alphonse XI - of the Prince's Cottage, - an exquisite building by Villanueva - of the Duke of Arch's villa. - a donation resulting from the "faithful loyalty" of the widowed duchess to Phillip V -

The recently restored magnificent Royal Botanic Garden of Madrid, - with its rich botanical collection - the typical Madrid park of El Buen Retiro, - the stage of countless royal celebrations and of every-day Madrid life - the Osuna's Poplar Grove, - a "caprice" of a duchess and masterly decorated by Goya - that of the Watercress Fountain, - the former Count's Vegetable Garden - to the charming, hidden ones of the Sorolla Museum, the Duchess of Alba, The Royal Barefoot Nuns Convent , and so many others which represent an immensely valuable cultural heritage mirror of the history which Madrid offers the visitor, as an integrate part of European Culture.


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