The Palacio de Velazquez at Retiro park!!!

Well after posting several articles on my fav park in my dear Madrid, part of my youth hangouts in the city realise not written a deserving post on the Palacio de Velazquez. Therefore, it is time to give credit when credit is due. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

I had brief mention of this wonderful palace in my previous post on Madrid and Retiro Park ,however, I feel it deserves a post of its own as it is a wonderful art center to visit in itself. Therefore, this is a new post with same older pictures. The Palacio de Velazquez inside the Retiro park (see posts) was built between 1881-1883 for the national exposition of mining, metarulogical, ceramics, glass and mineral waters. Palacio de Velázquez is part of the exposition venue of the Museo Reina Sofía museum.

mad retiro park palacio de Velazquez front may16

As said, it is located inside the Parque del Buen Retiro or Retiro park for short, on Paseo de Venezuela ,next to the Fuente de Alcachofa or artichoke fountain. Best to walk to the park or if far metro line 2 Retiro or line 9 Ibiza or bus lines stopping at Plaza de la Independencia right at entrance to park ,no. 15, 20, 51, and 52.

The Palacio de Velazquez occupies a central position in the Retiro park, between the large pleasure pond and the small pond next to the Palacio de Cristal (see post). The Retiro park was originally a royal hunting ground converted into an exclusive royal park for the Buen Retiro Palace of Felipe IV, which spans 300 acres. The palace was largely demolished after the Independence (Peninsular) War, with only Casón del Buen Retiro (a ballroom) and Salón de Reinos (used as a throne room) still standing, and the park has been open to the public since 1868 .


Originally known as the Palacio de la Minería, it was built in 1881-1883 for the Exposición Nacional de Minería by architect Ricardo Velázquez Bosco (named after him), engineer Alberto Palacio and ceramist Daniel Zuloaga. It functions as an art and craft gallery and is structured in three rectangular bodies united around a central gallery. All the new 19C building materials are featured in this building: granite, brick, ceramic, iron, zinc and crystal.

mad retiro park palacio de velazquez left back may16

The Palace of Velazquez was built in the realm of neo-renaissance historicism, has a spacious floor plan, vaulted ceilings with iron structures and natural lighting, thanks to a large glass surface. Designed as the main pavilion for the 1883 International Exhibition of Mining, Metal Arts, Ceramics, Glass and Mineral Waters, it follows the model used by Joseph Paxton for the Crystal Palace in London, built in 1851. It is a large neoclassical building, red brick and tile covered with iron and glass arches to naturally illuminate the rooms with dimensions of 73.80 meters by 28.75 meters or (242.1 ft × 94.3 ft) , not as big as the Ministry of Agriculture, Pesca y Alimentación (Palacio de Fomento see post). It was built in brick and two-tone tiles by the Royal Factory in La Moncloa.

mad retiro park palacio de velazquez left side may16

It has a rectangular plan, doubly symmetrical, with advanced towers in the corners and a central and transverse nave, whose metal barrel vault stands out in height. In the middle is the entrance, towards the midday front, preceded by an elegant 15-meter white marble staircase and configured by a portico with semicircular arches on Ionic columns.   Between the nave and the towers, intermediate bodies are created, resolved to the outside as galleries, very light, with arches similar to those of the access, but on pillars. However, the rectangular interior is practically a single space without divisions, only those corresponding to the four towers. In the central gallery of 18 meters high, the roofs and the iron columns are the only protagonists.

mad retiro park palacio de velazquez main hall may16

After the Philippine Exhibition of 1887, the Spanish government awarded the Palacio de Velázquez to a museum of the Spanish Overseas Territories. Since 1908 it has hosted the National Fine Arts Exhibitions. The works of contemporary painters are often exhibited at the palace since 1987. The Palace closed in 2005 for restoration and conservation, reopening in 2010.  It is currently operated by the Ministry of Culture, and is dedicated to the temporary exhibitions of the National Museum of Modern Art of Spain, or as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía museum.

The Reina Sofia Museum on the Palacio de Velazquez:

The Madrid tourist office on the Palace:

The City of Madrid on the Palacio de Velazquez (sorry long link): https://www–madrid–

There you go folks, another dandy in my dear Madrid for all to enjoy. Beautiful architecture, wonderful exhibitions, and a glorious Retiro park around it, this is the Palacio de Velazquez; simply awesome. Hope you enjoy the post and do visit while in Madrid.

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

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