The Osuna Poplar Grove Park

This 14 ha. park of great historical and artistic importance lies in the Hortaleza area. It dates from 1783, when the Dukes of Osuna bought the estate and built an enormous garden, which was basically promoted by the exceptional personality of the Duchess of Osuna (1752-1834).

The general layout is ascribed to the gardener Jean Baptiste Mulot, who lived in the Petit Trianon at Versailles. This layout is reminiscent of the mentioned garden and resembles the English style of garden planning, including its typical garden architecture.

The Orient Square Gardens

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Facing the Royal Palace there are the gardens of Orient Square. In the centre of the square stands the equestrian statue of Philip IV, cast by Pietro Tacca, who followed Galileo Galilei's calculations.The model for the head of the statue, was made by the famous image maker Martínez Montañés, of Seville.

The Castellana Gardens

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Until recently, the Castellana Walk was the real north-south axis of Madrid. It is an elegant avenue-park which extends the traditional garden areas of the Prado Avenue and the Recoletos Avenue towards the north. From Colón Square as far as the North junction, where new gardens of 2.30 ha. were recently built, there are 6,5 km of trees, linking squares and gardens of different nature.

The Villa Pasture Park

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Perhaps the oldest green area of all the parks and gardens in Madrid is this one. The oldest references to this pasture land of the council date from the 15th. century.

In the 18th. century, during the reign of Charles IV, it became part of the Royal Residence of El Pardo. It was turned in the late 19th century. Today, la Dehesa de la Villa (ie: Pasture land of the City) is very small compared with its original size, because it used to include land of today's Moncloa and the University City.

The Pardo Mountains

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Since the Middle Ages, The Pardo was used as a hunting site because of its vegetation and its dense forest, as well as its many wild animals. Thus, in The Art of Hunting, a book by Alphonse XI, it is called "La Dehesa de Madrit", the Madrid pasture land, "royal woodland of wild boar in winter". The first royal building in The Pardo dates from 1405 and the times of Henry III.

Later, Henry IV enlarged it, with what is known as the fortress. In the course of time, the place was often remodelled, and under Charles I the small palace was built, but there are only traces of it today.

His successor, Philip II, establishes the Royal Public Works and Forest Commission and the Royal Residence of The Pardo. The Bourbons enlarged the hunting grounds, adding the so-called Cordón de El Pardo, with plants and new buildings. Thus, The Pardo has always been the scene of royal hunts, especially during the reigns of Charles II and Charles IV.

The Watercress Fountain Park

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This is another of the parks steeped in history. It dates from the 17th. century, when it was called the Abroñigal Estate and its water from the Abroñigal was famous, the use of this water was exclusively reserved to the Crown, in the times of Charles III.

It has been a public park since 1948 . It is another excellent example of landscaped gardening thanks to the type of terrain which has romantic characteristics: artificial lakes, The Watercress Fountain and the sculptures, such as the one honoring the Russian poet Pushkin, contribute to making the park one of the most coherent and pleasant garden complexes of Madrid.

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