Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Retiro Park Experience

Retiro Park is one of my favorite places in Madrid, and a must see when visiting the city. Originally a park for the royal family, Retiro has transformed into a central  icon of the city. It is a perfect place to spend a weekend afternoon walking through the gardens, having a picnic on the grass, going rowing on the lake, or running down the many trails that surround the park. One thing that I have noticed about Madrid in general, compared to the other cities we have visited, is that Madrid has actual parks with grassy areas that form the center of the city and create a public recreational space. The other cities have plazas and squares spread throughout the commercial and residential areas, which are excellent in creating a sense of communal space, but lack the traditional park aspect. Having a public space such as Retiro park makes sense when considering that most MadrileƱos spend the majority of their time outside of their small apartments. The park is centered around the large lake close to the main entrance of the park, with the pathways radiating outward from the fountain circles spread throughout the park. The park also has large monuments, such as the Crystal Palace, rose gardens, and numerous statues, including the one dedicated to the Angel Caido. These monuments are located further within the park, off of smaller, winding, shaded paths from the main lake and fountain junctions. The park is designed so the lake forms the major public space, while the fountains, monuments, and grass areas spread throughout the park provide more private spaces. This is important to create a variety of unique park experiences for tourists and MadrileƱos alike, in the recreational center of the city.

No comments:

Post a Comment