7 - Buenavista Palace: on Alcala Street on the corner of Cibeles Square stands on the old Vaguada del Abroñigal Bajo. It was built by Juan Pedro Arnal for the Dukes of Alba in 1777 and is an excellent example of Madrid palace architecture from the second half of the century 18th, when the city moved beyond the wall. At the same time, it is an example of what the Prado Walk must have been like when it was lined with the palaces of the Madrid nobility.

8 - Alcala Gate: it stands on Independence Square and is a triumphal arch to enter into the City. It became the principal access way to Madrid by desire of Charles III. It was built by Sabatini, between 1774 and 1778 and decorated with sculptures by Francisco Gutierrez and Roberto Michel. Noteworthy is the fact that two sides of the arch were designed differently, with columns on the outside and mainly pillars on the inside.

9 - The Prado Salon (the first section of the Prado Walk): It is a paradigm of what the enlightened reforms in urban development were meant to be. It lay on the eastern edge of what then was the City of Madrid, on the Old Prado or Prado of Saint Jerome and it was built by the engineer Jose Hermosilla, between 1775 and 1782.

This type of "walk" in the shape of a racetrack had two exedras on both ends to be used for recreation by the Court. The "walk" as a whole was the transition from the palace area of the Retiro to the city and an extension of the previous one. The whole "walk" was divided by fountains which have been moved from their original site today and are placed differently.

It is a cosmogonic allegory with the obvious intention of exalting the figure of the monarch, identified with Apollo, the protector of the Arts, the same as Charles III. All the fountains along the "walk" were designed by Ventura Rodriguez and sculpted by different artists between 1780 and 1782, with the exception of Apollo, which is date later. They were put into position between 1795 and 1800.

- The Cibeles Fountain: a representation of the Earth, sculpted by Francisco Gutierrez and Roberto Michel.

- The Apollo and Four Seasons Fountains: It represents the sun and in fact the monarch. It was built by Giraldo Bergarz and Manuel Alvarez.

- The Neptuno Fountain: a representation of water, made by Juan Pascual Mena and Jose Arias.

10 - Prado Museum: (second section of the Prado Walk): This second part of the "walk", within the enlightened programma meant for science, has its centre piece in the building that was built to house the Cabinet of Natural Science. It was built by Juan Villanueva, between 1785 and 1811 andwas inaugurated in 1819 as the National Gallery.

Villanueva structured the building dividing it into three sections linked by galleries. Using to perfection the repertoire of classical architecture, where the column is the principal element, the main section has the plan of a basilica, to emphasize the idea of the building as a "temple of science".

11 - The Botanic Garden: It was laid out by Juan Villanueva in 1781 and was part of the enlightened programma to transform the lower valley known as Vaguada del Abroñigal into the enlightened city promoted by Charles III.

12 - Astronomical Observatory: It is located on the Saint Blas hill , inside the Retiro, and is another of the buildings designed for science in this area. Its construction was put into the hands of Juan Villanueva. Although the project was designed in the reign of Charles III, the construction of the Observatory did not begin until 1790. It was interrupted by the Independence War and was definitively finished in 1845.

13 - Saint Charles Hospital (Queen Sofia Art Centre. Located at 52, Saint Isabel Street on the corner of the Atocha Circus): The initial project dates from the times of Ferdinand VI and was carried out by Jose Hermosilla. When Charles III came to the throne, he asked Francisco Sabatini for a new project.

The Italian architect prepared a huge project, larger in size than the Royal Palace. Although the general layout of the building is baroque, it is formally a neo-classical building. Of the five inner courts of the original project, only one was carried out and finished in 1781 because of financial reasons.

14 - The Artichoke Fountain: It is in the centre of Atocha Circus, at the end of the Prado complex and faces Atocha Gate. As many others, it was designed by Ventura Rodriguez and sculpted by Bergaz and Antonio Primo. Today's fountain is a bronze copy of the original, which was moved to the Retiro at the end of the last century and stands next to the large artificial lake.



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