The Urban Garden of El Retiro. An emblematic orchard in Madrid

Hello everyone! Today I come to introduce you to another of the orchards of the Network of Community Orchards of Madrid, El Retiro. We made the visit a few weeks ago on a hot day like the ones you are doing in these summer months in Madrid. Therefore, be very careful with the use of the water that we give to our garden. Water is a treasure and we have to use it responsibly. On the other hand, especially for people who are enjoying the summer in Spain, watch what time you go down to the orchard. Hydrate well to catch the hoe.

What a mess to talk, come with me to the Retreat

A green lung in the center of Madrid: El Retiro

The Retiro Park is an area that has 118 hectares that has as one of the streets adjacent to the famous Alcalá street and is very close to the Atocha station. As you read in the center of Madrid:

Location of El Retiro –

The Retiro gardens were created by order of Philip IV in the 17th century as a recreation area for the kings of the House of Austria. It was wanted to be placed on the outskirts of Madrid, and looking for information and old photos, it is true that it was outside Madrid. To give you an idea of ​​how much Madrid has grown!

The Palacio del Buen Retiro and Las Ventas were in the outskirts of Madrid

With the entry of the Bourbons into the Spanish Crown, the park increased in size with new facilities such as the House of Fairs, the Royal Pier… Later, the War of Independence began and the French used the Royal Site as a fortress, so; It led to a good number of damages during the 19th century. However, at this time the park became part of the municipal heritage. This opened El Retiro to the public and revitalized his life a little more, since numerous international exhibitions were held inside and the people of Madrid began to enjoy this space.

What can we find in El Retiro?

The park is one of the places to visit in Madrid and then I am going to explain some of the elements that you cannot miss in El Retiro. There are many more and I encourage you to visit the Elretiroyyo page where you can find more sites:

The fallen angel

It is a square that has a fountain. The famous sculpture that poses in the fountain was created by Ricardo Bellver in 1877 after reading a poem by Milton.

Fallen Angel Statue

The Rose Garden

The gardener Cecilio Rodriguez was the creator of this rose garden that Mayor Carlos Prats asked him to Europeanize Madrid

Panoramic view of La Rosaleda

The Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

The pond

El Retiro Pond

The garden of El Retiro

We can find it in the old trade workshop building, that is, entering through the Puerta del Ángel Caído on the right. Here we can find the Retiro Environmental Information and Education Center, a service offered by the Madrid City Council to disseminate information and environmental education activities. They have fantastic facilities and lovely experienced staff ready to teach.

Within «El Huerta de El Retiro» we can find other orchards. Let me explain, there is not a single orchard in the facilities, there are several and each one is differentiated depending on the activity that is carried out. We are going to explain what kind of activities they carry out:

  • Theoretical-practical courses.These courses are offered monthly and you can find them on their website. Yes, I have written correctly, theoretical-practical because the same hours are given both in the classroom and in the garden in a practical way. So it is very rewarding to learn in this way
Students in a theoretical-practical course
  • Project garden.They have two other orchards where projects are developed to help people integrate into society. One of them is a project launched by Casa Encendida for people with learning disabilities in which, around the garden, they wanted to create a group that could fend for itself. All this always protected. Another of the gardens is a therapeutic garden that helps people with alcoholism problems. In addition, they rehabilitated one of the greenhouses as you can see in the following photo.
Rehabilitated greenhouse
  • Who grows better: parents or children?Another of the orchards that we found is a family orchard that has several terraces in which parents face children on Sunday mornings.
  • Citizen garden.It is an orchard that received a lot of demand from citizens. About 300 people applied to have their garden in the Retiro. Finally, seeing the number of requests, the center decided to get some more places, up to a total of 50 places. This orchard has personal advice and nothing is paid for it. Obviously self-management by the participants is basic.
Citizen garden of El Retiro

On the other hand, the Retiro Environmental Information and Education Center has a compost bin and uses the Retiro’s greenhouses for seeds and seedlings; serving as a distributor to schools and orchards of the Network of Community Orchards of Madrid.

Seedbed in the garden of El Retiro

It is a community garden worth seeing and highly recommended to learn about urban gardens. Visit their website to participate in their next activities!

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