Palacio de Cristal
A late 19th century architectural gem in El Retiro Park.
The Glass Palace in El Retiro Park is a prime example of Madrid’s “iron architecture”. Originally conceived as a monumental greenhouse to house tropical plants for the 1887 Exhibition of Flora from the Philippine Islands, the commission for its construction was awarded to architect Ricardo Velázquez Bosco, whose design was inspired by the Crystal Palace in London’s Hyde Park.
Located next to an artificial lake and surrounded by horse chestnuts, the building’s roof is made of large panes of glass and it features ceramic decoration in its trim and small friezes. The use of cast-iron columns and large glass surfaces allowed an enormous open-plan space to be created. In 1975, comprehensive repairs were carried out to restore the building to its original appearance.
It is currently one of the Reina Sofía Museum’s venues in Madrid. The museum manages and designs its programme, which consists of temporary exhibitions and art installations.
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