This floating castle appears to be from an enchanted fable, but in actuality it is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle.
The Palacio de Cristal del Retiro, or “Crystal Palace”, is a hidden gem found within Madrid’s Buen Retiro Park. Built in 1887, this glass structure was designed to mirror London’s own Crystal Palace, and was intended as a space to exhibit exotic flora and fauna from the Philippines, a Spanish colony at the time. A reconstructed Filipino village once sat in the surrounding park as a part of the exhibit.
Designed by Spanish architect Ricardo Velazquez Bosco, the structure itself is a stunning example of a Baroque greenhouse. It features glass walls reinforced by cast iron framework that forms the shape of a Greek cross. The Palacio resembles an ornate birdcage, however you won’t find any avian species within the structure today.
While originally designed as a greenhouse, the Palacio currently houses art exhibits as a venue for the Museo Nacional Centro de Art Reina Sofia. Named after Spain’s Queen Sofia, the Museo is home to Spain’s 20th century art. For some time, the Palacio hosted the National Fine Arts Exhibition. Currently, it houses site-specific projects and contemporary art installations.
A glittering emblem of Spanish architecture, the Palacio de Cristal continues to radiate beauty and seamlessly blend the worlds of art and nature through its translucent glass walls.
Already have an account? Log In