Plaza de Oriente, Madrid

Now I need to update/revise this post of 2018. Not only is for my beloved Madrid but the Eastern square or Plaza de Oriente is smallish yet surrounded by wonderful buildings not the least the Teatro Real or Royal Theater of Spain. Therefore, let me update/revise my post Plaza de Oriente in Madrid! Hope you enjoy it as I.

This is heavens territory or as we said, To Madrid to heavens and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday. This is all Spain in one city, you have, see it and do it all here. Except the beach !

We come to the more old and glitzy area of Madrid, this is an area you come when young to cool chasing girls and impressed them; not the one for cheap thrills, and even today a bit touristic pricey in my opinion. Nevertheless, the Plaza de Oriente is a must to come , especially if first time. Not to be confused to going to the Royal Palace or Almudena Cathedral or the Royal Theater; just talking about the walks around here!!

The Plaza de Oriente has a nice garden around it too. Located in front of the Royal Palace, these 1.60 hectares of garden are part of one of the most touristic ensembles in Madrid. These gardens were built on the initiative of Joseph Bonaparte, in order to enhance the Royal Palace and the Royal Theater. Since then they have experienced numerous and important renovations. The current design of the gardens, created in 1941, still takes as a reference point the equestrian statue of Felipe IV, but distributes the gardens squarely. They are composed of seven parterres, populated by shrubs of boxwood, ,cypresses, and magnolias of  small size, as well as floral plantations, of temporary character. They are bounded on both sides by rows of statues, popularly known as the Goths Kings, who act as the dividing line of the other two quadrants.

In the middle of the square, the equestrian statue of Felipe IV work in bronze done between 1634 and 1640.  It is done looking  east  towards the Royal Theater (see post) following the calculations of Galileo, is escorted by a large part of the collection of statues of the Spanish kings who should have crowned the Royal Palace. The gardens follow geometric shapes that air and give visibility to the façade of the Royal Palace.  Until 1941, they were circulated around the monument to Felipe IV, which occupies the center of the enclosure. Around the statue of the monarch, were located 44 sculptures, corresponding to different Spanish kings, but in 1927 was reduced its number to 20. The 20 statues of the monarchs are located longitudinally, in two rows of ten, on both sides of the central monument. The Calle  Bailén was banished, which separates the square itself from the eastern facade of the Royal Palace, in such a way that the square arrives directly to this building. Other pedestrian spaces were also won on the outskirts of the Teatro Real, while a new paving was made.


Moreover, they are at the center of an important monumental ensemble including not only the Royal Palace, but also the Monasterio de la Encarnación. It is presided over by two of the most important buildings of the capital: its Western outline is the Royal palace and the Oriental the Teatro Real. Its north face is formed by the Royal Monastery of the Incarnation, which was expropriated by the orchard of the priory to integrate it into the square.  A series of small bars and typical terraces border the Royal Theater side in the form of a semicircle. Under the square was built an underground car park, within a project that initially contemplated the creation of a mall in the basement, an idea that was finally dismissed. The remodeling works, concluded in 1996.

There are further subdivision of gardens alongside the Plaza de Oriente, that sometimes makes you think you are in the same but they are not.  The gardens of Cabo Noval, composed mainly of banana plantations, occupy the northern part of the Plaza de Oriente, next to the street of San Quintin, for which the traffic is allowed.  The gardens of Lepanto are located in the southern part of the square. They are defined by Calle de Bailén, which runs to the west, in parallel with the archery of the Plaza de la Armeria; and by the Calle de Vergara, which appears to the south, through a ramp, built to save the slope of the terrain. To the east is the Calle de Lepanto, which lends its name.

You get here easily on the Metro Opera line  2 and 5 ,and bus lines 25 and 39; parking best by Cuesta Santo Domingo 5 near Royal Opera Theater.  Walks here are classic and upper, with the before mentioned historical monuments. The Monastery of the Encarnacion, and the La  Bola (best cocido madrileno in my opinion) restaurant are tops. The Cuesta Santo Domingo where there is a good parking has been totally redone from my days living here, it was narrow crowded old, now it is more flexible and the parking is very good underground.

The city of Madrid on the gardens and Plaza de Oriente

The Tourist office of Madrid on the Plaza de Oriente

There you go another wonderful square in my beloved Madrid, and a great place to walk at any hour. Hope you enjoy the Plaza de Oriente, and see you around Madrid , eventually

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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