After an unintentional, albeit exhilirating exploration of Matadero Madrid, Arganzuela district’s center of culture and arts, I finally continued to walk to my original destination, the Madrid Rio, which is also located within the same area. I have always wanted to see for myself what they say is the vast expanse of the park as well as its impressive outdoor fitness facilities. Also, this Arganzuela park is well-known as a project that promotes the creation of more “green areas” in Madrid, and so, I was raring to write a blog article about it.
But once again, as I continued to tread the way to the park, I stopped in my tracks literally, as I was greeted by the sight of a beautiful building that’s looking unique because it is made mostly of glass. The sign board in front reveals its name — the Palacio de Cristal de la Arganzuela. However, as I managed to look past its glass facade, I could discern that it is a large terrarium.
Even from afar, you can peer through the glass walls and see that its interior is filled with plants of different kinds, silver-colored tubes that are perhaps parts of the HVAC equipment of the facility, large vats or containers, and vertical steel bars that hold the glass ceiling in place, serving as a strong reinforcement.
Formerly called the Nave de Patatas, the glass and steel edifice was once a part of the Matadero Madrid complex of the distrito de Arganzuela, until eventually it was transformed into a large museum of plants and herbs that it is today — a gargantuan greenhouse for all sorts of flora, a greening and environmental effort that the City of Madrid is proud of.
This garden / terrarium facility is also called Invernadero (in English it means greenhouse) and even known by a much longer name, Invernadero de Palacio de Cristal de la Arganzuela.
What to see in the crystal palace of Arganzuela
The glass house is so huge that it is able to take in and managage around 9,000 different species of plants, all of which are grouped according to the climate that they thrive in and flourish.
1. There are basically four different groups of plants; these are the tropical, subtropical, cacti and crass, and water plants. The Palace’s management made sure that the different groups of plants not only survived but flourished. This is ensured by simulating the type of climate necessary for every group of flora.
2. Apart from perhaps thousands of species of flora, the plant palace also features a variety of waterfalls and fountains filled with different species of fish. Various types of birds are also bred and cared for inside the greenhouse.
Visit Palacio de Cristal de la Arganzuela
Location of site: Paseo de la Chopera 10 (near the Matadero Madrid Complex, Madrid Rio, and the Rio de Manzanares)
How to Go:
Via Auto bus: EMT lines 6, 19, 45, 59, 78, 76, 148, 247
Via City Subway: Legazpi Madrid Metro Station (Lines 3, 6)
Hours of Visit:
Mondays: The site is closed
Tuesday to Friday: 9 AM to 3 PM
Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM to 2 PM
Admission is Free