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Madrid city guide

The best sights of Madrid

Madrid is a fascinating city and there are many things to see. Here is a list of some of Madrid's most popular sights.

Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace is a majestic glass building located in the middle of the Retiro Park, just in the heart of Madrid. The Palace features a small artificial lake equipped with a ladder that is immersed in the water and where you can find several swamp cypresses, with part of its trunk and roots under water.

The Palace was built in 1887 to stage an exhibition of Philippine tropical plants, held that year. It was designed by the architect Ricardo Velázquez Bosco who was responsible for another building in the park: the Palacio de Velázquez.

The architect Velázquez need a total of five months to finish building the Palace and had its point of inspiration in the London’s Crystal Palace, built in 1851 to house the Great Exhibition.

The Crystal Palace is considered one of the best examples of architecture in iron and glass in Spain. First time that such materials were used for non-industrial buildings. The palace is composed of iron columns supporting the crystal structure, a platform made of stone and brick and ceramic tiles decorated by Daniel Zuloaga, Spanish painter and ceramist.

The Crystal Palace is now part of the Ministry of Culture and it is devoted to temporary exhibitions at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. During the year you will have the opportunity to visit their pavilion and find interesting exhibitions, most of them based on architecture issues.

Likewise, the Palace is the perfect setting to take amazing photographs through the surrounding caves and small waterfalls that make it a wonderful place. Surely every week you'll find something new to see and to surprise.

As a curious historical fact: On May 10, 1936 the Crystal Palace was the scene of the possession of Manuel Azaña as president.

Address: Paseo Duque de Fernán Núñez        
Metro/Bus: Ibiza (Line 9) Bus: 2-20-26-61
Open: Monday to Saturday 11am to 8pm. Sunday and holidays: 11am to 6pm.
October to April: Monday to Saturday: 10am to 6pm. Sunday and holidays: 10am to 4pm. Close: 1, 6 January – 1, 15 May- 24, 25, 31 December.
Prices: free

Images Credits:

Palacio de Cristal Madrid por Dalbera Flickr Gallery
Inside Crystal Palace por Dalbera Flickr Gallery
Palacio de Cristal por Naliade Flickr Gallery


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