Tag Archives: Retiro park

Parque el Buen Retiro’s Monumento a Alfonso XII

In front of El Retiro Park, Madrid‘s huge and rectangular-shaped Estanque Grande del Retiro, which is also referred to as the Great Pond by the distinguished Spanish architect Cristobal de Aguilera, is the magnificent monument of Alfonso XII. 

The statue is located halfway of the pond’s side adjacent to Plaza de Maestra Villa, within its eastern portion. The statue towers over everything else and is seemingly looking over the wide expanse of the estanque. The latter itself is an important part of the park in that it boasts of a rich Spanish history that started from Phillip IV’s reign, where it served as a recreational venue for the royals and their court to ride the boats and fish.

It was in 1902 when the plan to build a monument to Alfonso XII was formed. Consequently, a contest endorsed by then Queen Maria Cristina that would determine the architect for the monument project was held, with architect Grases Riera as the eventual winner.

The equestrian statue of Alfonso XI is made in bronze and known to be one of the tallest and largest structures inside the park.  The middle of the last century saw the structure being neglected, allowing it to deteriorate. It was in the 80’s when restoration were done. A number of statues and figures nearby also had to be replaced as part of the restoration.

Visit Alfonso XII Monument at El Retiro Park:

Today, no visit to El Retiro Park should be made without visiting the monument. You will not miss it, in the first place, since the estangue is near the main entrance to the park, the Puerta de Alcala. Walk towards Calle Nicaragua, along which is the front portion of the pond. You will have to take either Paseo del Estangue or Paseo de Valenzuela to reach the statue on the other side.

Near Puerta de Alcala is the Retiro Madrid Metro of Linea 2, which is right inside the park itself. From the station is a short walk to Fuente de los Galapagos and Paseo del Enstanque.

Nearby park sites and attractions:

Palacio de Velazquez, Palacio de Cristal, Cecilio Rodriguez Gardens

imageSunny day, blue skies with wispy clouds here are there — it was indeed a perfect morning to visit the Monument of Alfonso XII at Buen Retiro Park in Madrid

imageI was lucky to have chanced upon the spacious area in front of the equestrian statue as still empty. I could only presume that as the day progresses, it will be filled with tourists excited to take shots of the monument and the pond.

imageI took this shot of the estanque and the monument of Alfonso XII one early morning, and so the quiet and tranquility in the place is still apparent. The estanque was said to have been a witness to a number of Spanish kings and their entourage proudly displaying their gondolas as they wade through them, while at the same time, music was being played.

imageIn this picture is one of the four lions carved out of stone materials, fine masterpieces by exceptional artists, Pedro Estany and Agapit Vallmitjana Abarca. They are placed near the steps that lead to the central monument. Also nearby are four mermaids in various positions; such statues are creations of Parera Saurina, Coll y Pi, Rafael Atche, and Antoni Alsina.

imageAt the back of the monument are ionic columns forming a  beautiful collonade that further enhanced the Alfonso XII monument. These structures were also constructed by Pedro Estany. The steps beneath the statue are often used by visitors and tourists to sit around and stay while waiting for the setting of the sun.

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: