Behind the Royal Palace we find this very unknown park. Here the Spanish kings spent their time amongst big trees and trails. In the initial layout, its main trails were made during the reign of Isabel II, designed in 1844 by the architect of Palacio, Narciso Pascual y Colomer. Due to the deterioration suffered after the revolution of 1868, a new garden project started during the regency of María Cristina of Habsburg in 1890. Highlights include the Chalet de la Reina, Alpine style, the Chalet Cork and Gardener’s House and the small pebbles in the mysterious cave that led to the Casa de Campo (down the Manzanares’ bank), whose original design was by the architect Juan de Villanueva.
Today it’s a public place. The best part is its quietness. During the hot summer I like to grab my packed lunch here and sit down in the shade, far from the crowded Retiro park. This park belongs to National Patrimonio, not the city hall, so check its opening hours and do not try to come here on national holidays, it’ll be closed. It covers an area of 20 hectares (49 acres).