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
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
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
- 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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