Category Archives: Jardines de Madrid

Parque Madrid Rio: Green Park by the Manzanares River

The city of Madrid is not without impressive and beautiful parks There’s one that’s worth visiting, near the popular areas of Principe Pio Metro Station and Centro commercial — it is the ultra-green city park known as Parque Madrid Río.

The park can be described as complete and modern recreational because of the presence of various facilities found within. Modern recreational and sports structures and equipment, in particular, are situated in strategic areas along its length. Hence, promenaders and hikers, physical fitness enthusiasts doing some exercise using their favorite equipment, bikers, and even skaters are familiar sights in the park. Do you know that it even has what they call an urban beach? Amazing, isn’t it?

The park is linear in shape, running along the course of the historic Manzanares River. Comprising a total length of 10 kilometers, it traverses through a number of Madrid city districts such as Carabanchel and Centro, but it is best associated with Arganzuela, which is why many refer to it as the Arganzuela Park. Also found are a number of bridges meant for use by pedestrians and bicycle riders, such as the Arganzuela bridge. Most of these structure basically connect one side of the park to the other.

The Parque Madrid Rio is touted to be one of the most pedestrian-friendly places within the capital, where one can enjoy miles of walkways that stretch through the park. I myself had already taken a long and leisurely walk through it not once, but a couple of times, starting my promenade in the area of Plaza Legaspi, reaching Principe Pio n front of the gateway monument after almost 2 hours.

All in all, the fascinating green city park strip runs a total of 10 kilometres and on the average, is 25 meters wide. It also connects already existing green areas such as the Casa del Campo with the city centre.
Madrid Rio bridgePedestrian bridge offer convenient transfer of pedestrians and bikers from one bank to another
imageSign along pathway going to Matadero, a culture and arts center of Madrid
imageNave buildings at Matadero MadridimagePalacio de Arganzuela or Invernadero building (greenhouse) is found at the Plaza Legaspi portion of the park, beside Matadero
imageSky sleigh ride is one of the fun rides inside Parque Madrid

imageThese gigantic slides remind me of my childhood playground; such facilities are certainly a joy to kid visitors of the park

imageThe park features a spacious rink for skates and skate board riders and enthusiasts
imageLush fauna abound within the Madrid Rio park
imageWooden benches are also everywhere, in case your feet tire from all the walking
imageStately monument stands in the middle of the park
imageArganzuela coniaxial pedestrian bridge is one of the major bridges spanning the historic Manzanares River
imageThe Arganzuel footbridge consists of metal spirals that interlock. Wood component serves as floor of the bridge
imagePuente de Toledo is a very famous baroque-style bridge of Madrid filled with history, built way back in the early part of the 1700’s. Like the other park bridges, the Toledo bridge links both banks and roundabouts of Pyramides and Carabanchel or Marquis de Vadillo.
imageAlso known as Puente Segoviana, the Segovia Bridge a major bridge within Madrid Rio Park, and one of the popular Renaissance work of Spanish architect Juan de Herrera. The bridge is considered as a vital access point to the town
imageThe Bridge of Segovia with fountains accenting its area. Seen in the background are the Palacio Real and the Almuneda Cathedral
imagePuente de Segovia is recognized as the city’s oldest bridge in Madrid, constructed during the sixteenth century
imageEntrance to the Casa de Campo, located at the portion of Madrid Rio near Principe Pio

Direccion: Puente de Toledo Madrid, 28019

Metro: Principe Pio Line 6, Line 10, R
Bus: 25, 36, 33, 36, 50, 39, 65

Map:

Los Jardines de Cecilio Rodriguez in Retiro Park, Madrid

imageIf you’re looking to visit a nice garden in Madrid, Spain and don’t want to pay any admission fee (actually, there are many in the city that are free, while some ask for a minimal amount for you to enter), one of the best is the picturesque garden inside Retiro Park that was a creation of the city’s official park gardener (or the Jadinero Mayor de Retiro) – Cecilio Rodriguez. He designed a garden I thought is very much pleasing to the eyes – one that bears his name. Rodriguez was the director of Madrid’s parks and gardens, and also responsible for created the rose garden or Rosaleda, another beautiful and well-maintained garden within the Retiro Park.

imageThe entrance gates to the garden doesn’t open until 10 in the morning
imageThe garden is not only filled with carefully trimmed hedges but brightly-colored and blooming flowers as well
imageI stay beside this fountain all day. With its clear water, this garden feature does have a calming effect on anyone who sets his sight on it
imageRows of low plants of green and red dominate much of this area of the garden, while lining both sides of the pond. Water spouts from a number of fountains installed thru the length of the pond, making for an attractive view

imageBrick and stone edifice located on the side area of the garden. It is said to be a venue where gardening courses are held, and where garden tools and equipment are kept.

imageThe clean walkways of checkered tiles makes you want to stay and spend more time exploring the Los Jardines de Cecilio Rodriguez

imageThe pavilion building inside the garden, made of bricks and glass. I chanced on a film-showing (that’s how I observed the goings-on from the outside) the last time I visited the garden

imageThe garden has a handsome feature to boast about – its pergola, or some parallel colonnades supporting an open roof of long wooden rafters. It offers light shade for you to stay in and cool down while visiting the gardens on a hot sunny afternoon

image The garden features a pond filled with striving, floating lilies. In the middle of the greenish water are a number of rocks from which sculptures of birds appear to be taking flight.

Horarios:

Summer time: 10:00AM to 8PM
Winter season: 10:00AM to 6PM

Entrance:

Free everyday

How to go:

imageThe Cecilio Rodriguez Gardens is found right within the Retiro Park area of Madrid, along Paseo de Uruguay. It is near the Palacio de Cibeles and the Plaza de la Independencia.

Metro: Line 2 to Retiro station. Line 1 to Atocha and Atocha Renfe Metro stations (Currently, however, line 1 is under renovation, and will be available on November).

Bus: Number 51 (stops near the entrance of Retiro, at La Independencia, Alcala).

Map:

Jardines de Sabatini y del Campo del Moro, and My Thoughts on Madrid’s Hot Summer

Summer in Madrid is almost here. And the thought exasperates me. While the impending season may set the numerous lot to a euphoric mood, I feel the opposite if only for one thing – it makes blogging more tedious. Let me point out the reasons. The glare from the sun is disturbing – it forces me to squint my eyes, rendering some of my shots out of focus, and thus, delivering inferior results. The sweltering temperature wears me down to major tiredness, and before you know it,lethargy and ennui set in. Ultimately, this leads to my becoming less productive.

I could rant on and on, yet the fact remains that the season is inevitable; its heat, unavoidable. There’s no use whining over something that’s not even remotely life-changing, or threatening. Hence, here’s reluctantly welcoming the next three months of hotness. I’ll try to bear Madrid’s summer season, which as a matter of fact, is hardly bearable.

Summer isn’t all that bad, truth to tell. Lucid light helps achieve clearer, livelier photographs – a boon for my blog. Pictures are devoid of unwanted shadows, uneven colors, and blurs. Of course, quality shots don’t always require too much illumination. Strong lighting, in fact, can wreck havoc to what could be a beautiful photo. Shots taken at extremely bright high noon can make the details in your photographs unrecognizable, or disappear altogether. In order to obtain an evenly-lit photo with beautiful shadows, try shooting in the early morning or late afternoon.

Time to head to Madrid Gardens

Summertime is when the afternoons are hot and humid, and the streets of Spain’s capital breathe off discomfortingly hot vapors, enticing people to rush to cool places such as Madrid’s gardens and parks. Good thing that the city has some of the best gardens that it can offer. While orhers ask for entrance fees like the Real Botanical garden, many are free. The best for me is El Retiro, Madrid’s national park, which literally is an oversized garden. I’m amazed by its vastness in area – the wide open spaces, the man-made lake, the beautiful sculptures, the structures – everything inside El Retiro fascinates that people want to visit the park over and over.

Apart from Buen Retiro, two other gardens are worth visiting for their  stunning views, lush flora, and refreshingly cool shades. These are the Jardin de Sabatini and Campo Del Moro, both of which are near the Palacio Real.

Jardines de Sabatini

Adjacent to the palace is the Jardines de Sabatini, or the Sabatini Gardens. It boasts of tall trees, intricately trimmed hedges, fountains, and a pond. Benches abound and are found all over the park, but mainly along pathways and beneath trees.  After a long day of visiting nearby Madrid sites and attractions such as Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Alcala, Gran Via, Plaza de Espana, Palacio de Cibeles, and the Palacio Real itself, many tourists decide that their final stop for the day is Sabatini.

Horarios: Open to the public everyday, from 9:00AM to 9:00PM

Direccion: Calle de Bailén, Madrid

How to go: Take the Metro and alight at Opera Station. Walk through Plaza Oriente to reach Calle Bailen and Palacio Real de Madrid. On its immediate left is the garden. You can also enter via the Cuesta San Vicente Gate.

Map:

imageThe Garden of Sabatini is open all year long. It experiences a peak in the number of visitors during the summer season
image Hedges typically have elaborate designs. The Jardines de Sabatini’s are much simpler, with linear and angular designs. They are impressive, just the same – a feast to the eyes
imageThe statue of Alfonso X de Castilla, or Alfonso the Wise. He ruled over the Spanish regions of Castilla, Leon, and Galicia during the mid-13th century

imageThe ornamental trees, shrubs and hedges are well-maintained and manicured, making this scenery one of the many picture-perfect views of the garden

imageTheir designs might be simple,still, the hedges of Sabatini are comparable if not better than those in the gardens in France. If only for its hedges, the garden adds significant beauty to the stately Palacio Real de Madrid

imageBright Red carnations adorn the wide pathway that leads to that part of garden nearest the  Palacio Real

imageGates to the garden along Paseo de la Virgen de Puerta
imageThe main gates to the Sabatini Gardens of Madrid, Spain at Calle Bailen, very near Palacio Real

imageI took notice of the beautiful inhabitant of the fountain near the garden’s gates

image The Sabatini Garden is the site to a number of  shows and state functions in Madrid 

imageSabatini Restaurant in front of the Garden Entrance

Campo del Moro

The Campo del Moro is located at the back of the Palacio Real. The garden was so-called because it was the area where Moslem armies were formed to invade the Christian cities of Alcazar and Madrid.

Eventually, it was developed as a hunting ground for the royal family. Every summer, a large influx of visitors is expected to enjoy the garden as a place of rest and recreation after a tiring tour of Madrid. The garden has many benches situated underneath tall trees, providing cool and refreshing shades.  Just like the Sabatini Garden, Campo del Moro is beautifully green all over, boasting of thousands of plant and tree varieties.

As a blogger, I label the jardin a paradise, what with its many beautiful scenery and spots. Its winding dirt roads and paths, for instance,are perfect subjects of photography – they are dreamy and romantic. There are some portions of the pathways where trees that line the sides seem to embrace each other, entangling their branches and twigs to form a shining bright green roof made out of overlapping leaves, hovering the length of the road.

If you’ll check your map book, you’d see how proximate the garden is to the Royal Palace. Unfortunately, the entrance is far, found along Paseo de la Virgen de Puerto. If your starting point is the palace, you must pass through a number of streets, Calle Bailen, Cuesta de San Vincente, y Virgen de Puerto, before you can actually reach it. By contrast, the entrance gate to Sabatini is right along Calle Bailen, very near the Palacio Real.

Horarios: Open Monday to Sunday, from 10:00AM to 10:00PM
Direccion: Paseo de la Virgen del Puerto 28058 Madrid
How to go: Take Metro train and descend at Principe Pio Station. Cross the corner of Cuesta San Vicente, by Puerta de San Vicente. Walk a few meters through Paseo de la Virgen de Puerto and this will bring you to the entrance to the garden.
Map:

imageA map of the interior of Jardines del Campo del Moro serves to guide visitors as they tour the garden
imageFuente de las Conchas is a beautiful accent to the Garden. It is connected to the palacio by the Pradera de las Vistas del Sol. The fountain was initially installed at the palace of Don Luis of Boadilla del Monte

image Bare trees line up the pathway near the pradera of the Campo del MoroimageWith long tail feathers at rest (not fanned), the peacock (or Pavo Real in Spanish) nestles comfortably onto the grasses

image It pays to be patience. After waiting for more than an hour,  garden’s fabulously-feathered resident finally decided to show off by fanning its tail feathers. It’s not the best shot, but this I’ll have to make do. They say a squeaking peacock with a fanned tail is a threatened guy (peacocks are male). So, I and everybody else around kept our distance as we took pictures
image In 1892, created was the Chateau o La Casita de la Reina, a wooden house made as a resting place for the of Her Royal Highness the Queen of Spain
image Flower beds of fully-bloomed white carnation line the side of pradera of Campo del Moro

image The sun’s rays filter through and bounce off the leaves of the trees and bushes found along both sides of the narrow road. This results in a somewhat illusion of a bright green luminescence lighting up the way and ready to mesmerize anyone that passes through

After a few days of a busted server (web host’s), I was finally able to finish and post this article. The same last days saw how the cold wind had blown its last. It’s apparent that the afternoons had become hotter; the breeze, warmer. The sun has now swelled into a throbbing, gigantic scorcher up in the sky, ready to sear anything that its blazing rays touch. The weather has become intolerable that I had to cut short my trip to the parks and be content with everything I gathered for this article. Now I’m readying my next post (on Atocha) in the comfort of my room.

Assessing the past week so far, I think it’s going to be a really hot summer in Madrid. Still, despite the searing heat, admittedly that we are moving to a better weather. Since blogs are more about pictures than words, the bright and clear summer days will definitely help me come up with quality photos for my website.

The fact is that many consider summer as a huge deal of a season, and plan their next three months around either going abroad for a vacation, or touring Spain.  In my case, I guess I’ll just have to adapt with the weather change. Just a few days more, and I’d be fully acclimatized. And off I go again to continue with my exploration of the city. As it is, there are so many more sites and attractions to discover, take pictures of, and blog about. Madrid never seems to run out of things extraordinary. There must still be tons of food to taste, barrios to discover, traditions to appreciate, and locals to mingle and blend in. All this will be easier to do now that summertime is upon us – when Madrid is (hopefully for me) at its best.