Park Retiro. Madrid
Big, big, big and nice nice park.
Features of the ParkClose to the northern entrance of the park is the
Estanque del Retiro ("Retiro Pond"), a large artificial pond. Next to
it is the monument to King Alfonso XII, featuring a semicircular
colonnade and an equestrian statue of the monarch on the top of a tall
The Rosaleda rose garden. Among the many rose bushes of all kinds
stands the Fountain of the Falling Angel, erected in 1922, whose main
sculpture El Angel Caído (at the top) is a work by Ricardo Bellver
(1845–1924) inspired by a passage from John Milton's Paradise Lost,
which represents Lucifer falling from Heaven. It is claimed that this
statue is the only known public monument of the devil.[by whom?]
The few remaining buildings of the Buen Retiro Palace, including Casón
del Buen Retiro and the Museo del Ejército, now house museum
collections. The Casón has a collection of 19th and 20th century
paintings, including art by the Spanish painter Joaquín Sorolla. The
Ejército is one of Spain's foremost Army museums and it houses "La
Tizona" the sword of the famous Spanish warrior El Cid. There are
displays of armor, a cross carried by Christopher Columbus on his sea
voyage to the New World and other artifacts.
Since assuming its role as a public park the late 19th century, the
"Parque del Retiro" has been used as avenue for various international
exhibitions. Several emblematic buildings have remained as testimony
to such events, including the Minig building, popularly known as the
Velázquez Palace (1884) by architect Ricardo Velázquez Bosco, and the
Palacio de Cristal ("Crystal Palace"), a glass pavilion inspired by
The Crystal Palace in London, undoubtedly the gardens' most
extraordinary building. Built along with its artificial pond in 1887
by architect Ricardo Velázquez Bosco for the Philippine Islands
Exhibitions, it was first used to display flower species indigenous to
the islands. The landscape-style gardens located in the former "Campo
Grande" are also a reminder of the international exhibitions that have
taken place here in the past.
The Paseo de la Argentina, also popularly known as Paseo de las
Estatuas ("Statue Walk"), is decorated with some of the statues of
kings from the Royal Palace from the Royal Palace, sculpted between
1750 and 1753.
There are now art galleries in the Crystal Palace, Palacio de
Velázquez, and Casa de Vacas.
In the Retiro Park is also the Forest of the Departed (Bosque de los
Ausentes), a memorial monument to commemorate the 191 victims of the
11 March 2004 Madrid attacks.
 ActivitiesFrom late May through early October, every Sunday
at midday, the Banda Sinfónica de Madrid gives free concerts from the
bandstand in the park near the Calle d'Alcala. Manuel Lillo Torregrosa
composed 'Kiosko del Retiro' to this bandstand.
The Park also features an annual Book Fair.
Around the lake, Retiro Pond, many puppet shows perform, and all
manner of street performers and fortune tellers. Rowboats can be
rented to paddle about the Estanque, and horse-drawn carriages are