Monday, September 26, 2011

The Park of El Capricho, known as The Whim, is one of the most beautiful parks of the city, although not frequented by the Madrileños, being located outside the center of Madrid.

The garden occupies some 14 hectares of land and dates back to 1784 when the Duke of Osuna, from one of the most illustrious and powerful of the city’s families, acquired the land to express the family’s artistic values as well as to give the family a place to escape from city life. It has been of private property until 1974 when the town hall purchased it.

The art of landscaping in El Capricho is displayed in three different styles of classical gardenscapes: the ‘parterre’ or French garden, English landscaping and the Italian giardino.

There are many love trees, elms, almond trees, Holm oaks and lilac bushes, which contribute their colours in springtime.

There is a labyrinth, "parterre", a lake and creek, and a group of beautiful constructions, such as the Old Woman’s House, which brings back the typical lifestyle of simple folk or a hermit’s dwelling in ruins, and in which once lived an actual hermit who used to startle lost passerbys. These are the ‘caprichos’ built to recall the lives of the more humble classes.

Water is present throughout the walk. A sinuous stream makes its way across the property, deep enough for row boats and in fact, uniting the games area and the lake with the Dance Casino, which can be reached by a small wharf called the Casa de Cañas. Made of bamboo, decorated with mirrors and a large fresco, the casino is the work of Martin Lopez Aguado, and the top floor as well as the terrace were used for holding grand parties, which gave the guests all the prestige that they believed themselves to have.

Source of Information:

The park holds its own beauty and if added to it, you are  provided with the music of jazz - soul (of the band Freedonia), the scent of laurel leaves and pines as you stroll in the garden and all for free, would you not consider yourself to be lucky as I did? 

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