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It was a short walk from our hotel (Vincci Soma) to Parque del Buen Retiro, and as soon as I walked in, I realized I was going to want more then a mere weekend in Madrid. I could have stayed in the park for the entire day ~ it’s big, beautiful with lovely gardens, marble statues/monuments, acres of greenery, manmade lakes and an abundance of locals doing various exercises.

The Park was originally laid out by Felipe IV in the 1600s for the use of the Royals and close family/friends but the park was opened to the public in 1868. Throughout the following years, statues and buildings have been added with the most recent being the “Bosque de Recuerdo” (memorial forest) which is a memorial for the 191 victims of the 11 March 2004 train bombings.

Exercise for your legs, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Exercise for your legs, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Whole lot of exercising going on in this part of the park, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Whole lot of exercising going on in this part of the park, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

In-line Skaters of all ages were everywhere in the Park ~ lots of lessons, too.

In-line Skaters of all ages were everywhere in the Park ~ lots of lessons, too.

True Love: a girl and her Iphone

True Love: a girl and her Iphone

Big Bubble, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Big Bubble, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Spanish Guitar music in Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Spanish Guitar music in Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

It’s a great place for the Madrileños to enjoy a pleasant walk, a vigorous workout or just to sit and watch the world go by.

El Ángel Caído (Fallen Angel), Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

El Ángel Caído (Fallen Angel), Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

At the base of El Ángel Caído

At the base of El Ángel Caído

El Ángel Caído (Fallen Angel), Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

El Ángel Caído (Fallen Angel), Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

The park has many beautiful marble statues including El Ángel Caído (The Fallen Angel ~ Satan) by  Ricardo Bellver. He is said to have been inspired by a passage from Paradise Lost (John Milton). The gargoyles around the base of the statues creeped me out more than the statue itself. From my research, it looks to be the only public statue of Lucifer and supposedly it sits at 666m above sea level.

Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Madrid Day II Woman Statue

Columns near the Alfonzo XXII statue, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Columns near the Alfonzo XXII statue, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Dolphins, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Dolphins, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Statue in Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Statue in Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Statue, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Statue, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Fountain in Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Fountain in Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Alfonzo XXII Statue, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Alfonzo XXII Statue, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Cuba Monument, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Cuba Monument, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Besides the lovely statues, there are several beautiful buildings including Palacio de Cristal which was built in 1887 as a winter garden but is now being used for temporary exhibitions of modern artwork. If you look closely at the photo below, those color discs are the artwork currently on display.

Palacio de Cristal ~ the color discs hanging from the ceiling are part of the Modern Art Exhibit

Palacio de Cristal ~ the color discs hanging from the ceiling are part of the Modern Art Exhibit

Inside the Palacio de Cristal ~ dics on the floor are part of the modern art exhibition

Inside the Palacio de Cristal ~ dics on the floor are part of the modern art exhibition

Logan in the Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Logan in the Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Park Vendor outside Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Park Vendor outside Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Our time in Parque del Buen Retiro was wonderful and I definitely would have stayed longer but after a few hours it was time to head over to Museo del Prado to see the Goyas. The Museum is a short walk just outside of the park…

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