“Park of the Pleasant Retreat,” I think is the literal translation from Spanish. The park once belonged to the Spanish Monarch until the King decided to make it a public park in the late 19th century.
This is one of the largest parks in Madrid and there are so many outdoor activities available for the young and old. Particularly interesting equipment for the elderly are stretch bars to keep arthritis in check and bicycle pedals.
There are three artificial lakes. The largest has rental rowboats and a solar powered boat. Street performers and fortune tellers congregated around the park center while multiple paths and walkways were being used by families, runners, bikers and rollerbladers.
Two notable palaces within the park J.J. and I visited are: the Crystal Palace, a glass pavilion built in 1887 for the Philippine Islands Exhibitions to display flora species indigenous to the archipelago which at the time was a Spanish colony.
Palacio de Velázquez is an exhibition hall. Current exhibition was interesting, but it reminded the two of us of our student days at Art Center College of Design. Nothing new nor innovative.
The Retiro Park is 300 acres. Our visit was on a Sunday. J.J. estimated 10,000 visitors and maybe 400 dogs during the time we were there.
Aloha -- Cathi