The Retiro is a garden with 118 hectares that is located in the heart of Madrid. It was the most important work ordered its construction by the request of the Conde Duque de Olivares. The project took ten years to carry out. The park had more than twenty buildings, gardens.
Fountains and ponds that had been the stage for festivals and shows of the Court. During the time of Carlos the 3rd entrance to the park became free, although it was still a privileged royal place. This quickly changed after the revolution of 1868, when it became municipal property.
Nowadays , the Retiro is a lot smaller than it was during the time of Felipe the 4th and the only buildings remaining today are the Hall of Kings and the Large Home of the Buen Retiro. Other important buildings that date back to the end of the 19th century include.
The Crystal palace, the Palace of Velazquez and the house of Cows. When going for a walk in these gardens the visitor will find a pond, which is the oldest part of the Retiro. It was built in 1631 as the stage for theatre shows. With Fernando the 7th, the pier was built and the House of Wild Animals was constructed which housed the zoo until the second half of the 20th century.
Next to the pond there is a monument dedicated to alfonso de 12th which was designed by José Grasses y Riera, although the king’s statue mountain of the Artichoke, there is another curious site in the Retiro Park: the statue of the Fallen Angel, which is the only public statue in the world dedicated to the devil.
It was designed by José Grasses y Riera. It is a very lively place, mainly on Sunday mornings when it is full of musicians, mimes jugglers and all type of artists.