Parque de Retiro and the Prado

Madrid, Spain

I visit Parque de Retiro, the most famous park in Madrid.


Summer 2012

Entrance to Parque del Retiro

Entrance to Parque del Retiro

Included in a long day of sight-seeing was a trip to Parque de Retiro.

A pond in the park

A pond in the park

The park was regal and well-maintained. With surreal topiaries dotting courtyards and gardens.

Topiaries in Retiro Park

Topiaries in Retiro Park

In the center of the park was a huge pond full of carp, and you could watch people row boats on it’s green surface.

Retiro Park Center

Retiro Park Center

A massive white stone tower loomed over the pond. There was a gravel bike path to one side, and a green field of grass on the other. The entire park was sprawling, with many twisty paths, food vendors, gardens, statues, and trees.

One of many fountains in Retiro park

One of many fountains in Retiro park

A man played a saxophone near the bike path, and it echoed around the pond.

Saxophonist playing for park-goers

Saxophonist playing for park-goers

Heart of the park

Heart of the park

El Museo Nacional de Prado

Price: 6 Euros at front entrance. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9am to 6pm.
The Prado Museum, seen from our bus.

The Prado Museum, seen from our bus.

On the edge of the park was El Museo Nacional de Prado, the most well known museum in Madrid.

A street performer having tea with a tourist in front of the Prado Museum

A street performer having tea with a tourist in front of the Prado Museum

Museo Prado

Museo Prado

The building was magnificent from the outside, and we couldn’t resist taking pictures

In front of The Prada

In front of The Prada

Unfortunately, photographs weren’t allowed inside, but we took a guided tour and saw some amazing pieces.

I particularly liked seeing “Saturn Devouring His Son,” “Maja,” and “The Garden of Delights.”

Maja, clothed and unclothed.

Maja, clothed and unclothed.

The Garden of Earthly Delights

The Garden of Earthly Delights

Saturn Devouring His Son. One of Goya's most revered works.

Saturn Devouring His Son. One of Goya’s most revered works.

The guide also explained an early form of photoshop: Portraits of people were each done individually, and then repainted into an inclusive family painting. That way, the family in the picture didn’t have to stand and pose for hours on end. Everything was fascinating and beautiful. This museum was one of the more strict exhibits that I had been to, and there was a reverent hush in the halls.

Entrance to the Prado

Entrance to the Prado

There was good reason for the reverence. This museum was definitely one of the best I had ever been to in terms of its rich content.

Bucket list? Check!

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