Culture

Buen Retiro Park

The Buen Retiro Park is one of the largest parks of the city of Madrid, Spain. The park belonged to the Spanish Monarchy until the late 19th century, when it became a public park.

From 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 de Alcalá. Manuel Lillo Torregrosa composed ‘Kiosko del Retiro’ to this bandstand.

The Park also features an annual Book Fair. Not only is there an annual book fair, but shelves for used books where people will drop off their used books, magazines, or newspapers. There are events throughout the year such as concerts, firework shows, and holiday/cultural events.

There is also an outdoor exercising area for both the old and the young. While the older one includes equipment to stretch keep arthritis in check and the elderly active like bicycle pedals. The younger portion includes bars for triceps dips, pull-ups, sit-ups, and locals have brought bigger stones to use as weights.

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 available. If rowing is not your forte there is a solar powered boat you can book passage on.

Retiro provides multiple different sports courts that are managed by the city.

For children there are multiple playground areas as well as ponds throughout the park with ducks you can feed. The inside of the Palacio de Cristal has been modified to include the edition of a stone slide in the interior.


Temple of Debod

The Temple of Debod is an ancient Egyptian temple that was dismantled and rebuilt in Madrid, Spain.

From the quay, there is a long processional way leading to the stone-built enclosure wall, through three stone pylon gateways, and finally to the temple itself. The pronaos, which had four columns with composite capitals, collapsed in 1868 and is now lost. Behind it lay the original sanctuary of Amun, the offering table room and a later sanctuary with several side-rooms and stairs to the roof.

The temple was rebuilt in one of Madrid’s parks, the Parque del Oeste, near the Royal Palace of Madrid, and opened to the public in 1972. The reassembled gateways have been placed in a different order than when originally erected. Compared to a photo of the original site, the gateway topped by a serpent-flanked sun was not the closest gateway to the temple proper. It constitutes one of the few works of ancient Egyptian architecture that can be seen outside Egypt and the only one of its kind in Spain.


Puerta de Alcala

The Puerta de Alcalá (“Alcalá Gate”, from the Arabic word القلعة al-qal’a, “citadel”) is a Neo-classical monument in the Plaza de la Independencia in Madrid, Spain. It is regarded as the first modern post-roman triumphal arch built in Europe,

It was a gate of the former Walls of Philip IV. It stands near the city center and several meters away from the main entrance to the Parque del Buen Retiro. The square is bisected by Alcalá Street, although the street does not cross through the monument, and it is the origin of the Alfonso XII, Serrano and Olózaga streets. Its name originates from the old path from Madrid to the nearby town of Alcalá de Henares.

Madrid in the late 18th century still looked like a somewhat drab borough, surrounded by medieval walls. Around the year 1774, king Charles III commissioned Francesco Sabatini to construct a monumental gate in the city wall through which an expanded road to the city of Alcalá was to pass, replacing an older, smaller, gate that stood nearby. It was inaugurated in 1778.

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