The Jardin de la Isla of Aranjuez !!!

I know about Aranjuez since a young child, my mother would sing to me the concierto of Aranjuez, that has been even turns into operas and zarzuelas in my beloved Spain. Many versions tells of a love between a Prince and a lady that was not possible to be. The Royal Palace and its gardens are sublime. I have told you about the palace and the Prince’s garden, but left out the others and nice pictures me think. Therefore, here is my Jardin de la Isla or island garden of Aranjuez, Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Jardin de la Isla or garden of the island is located to the north of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez. It is one of the main garden works of the Spanish Renaissance together with the Casa de Campo in Madrid, It is located to the north of the palace, on an artificial island of approximately 25 hectares, between the Tagus River ,and an estuary or canal. On this there are four bridges that served as access to the garden. First, next to the palace, is the bridge between the Parterre garden and the Island; wide and ramped to allow the passage of carriages, it was built in 1733 or 1744 on the gates to regulate the flow of the estuary.

Very close to it is the Canal bridge, between the Queen’s Garden and the Island; it was designed in 1729 and built in stone in 1731-32 , To the west of the first two, between the garden and Calle de Madrid, is the Enmedio bridge. It was rebuilt in 1764 in stone, Finally, the Isleta bridge, at the western end of the Island. The court’s main access to the Royal site was through a bridge over the Tagus, and after crossing it and the estuary it continued along Calle de Madrid to the Palace. However, at the end of the 17C it was very deteriorated, so in 1728 the Green Bridge was built downstream, which allowed the river to be crossed without stepping on the Island.

The Jardin de la Isla was promoted at the initiative of Felipe II, as a representation of paradise and laid out in 1561; the works lasted from that year until 1564, and were continued with the ordering of the fountains in 1582. Felipe III began a reform in the iconography of the garden and at that time the fountain of the Harpies, the fountain of Vertumno and the pedestal of Neptune’s fountain. His successor, Philip IV, continued the work. In the first place, it included the fountain of Hercules and the Hydra, which had twenty-four statues, in addition to the main one, of which fourteen remain, eight in the fountain and six on the Stairway bridge, while the remaining ten were removed between 1804 and 1834 and relocated to other sets. The Harpies fountain survived with hardly any changes; not so the sources of the markets, located in the corners of the rectangle of the Harpies, The Don Juan de Austria or Venus fountain remained similar in appearance to the existing one except for four boys who, seated on the pedestal, had birds in their hands. The Neptune fountain, added at this time, had seven sculptural groups of which only three remain and had a structure on the central pedestal that imitated a cloud, from which six arms came out holding crowns that were placed on top of each one of them. the groups. Finally, the Tritons fountain, erected at that time at the southwestern end of the garden, would be transferred to the Campo del Moro gardens of Madrid in 1848.


On the puente de la Escalinata or stairway bridge, one of the entrances to the garden, there is a set of six sculptures, three gods and three goddesses. At the beginning of the longitudinal axis of the garden is what is popularly known as the Apollo fountain, dedicated to the god Vertumnus. They represent scenes from Hercules fighting with the lion of Nemea, killing the Hydra, attacking the centaurs and killing the centaur Neso, four coats of arms of the kingdom of Castile, four lions and four griffins. The Fuente del Anillo or ring fountain , also called the Fuente del Reloj or clock fountain, it is located where the Ganymede fountain was previously located. It is made up of a low circular pool, surrounded by a fence on which Roman numerals were engraved, and a simple cup, The Fuente de las Harpías was made between 1615 and 1618. It consists of a square pylon, with four Corinthian columns at its corners. Harpies are placed on the columns, which release water towards the central piece; in this, on a balustraded cup, is the figure of the Spinario, The Fuente de Venus fountain consists of two concentric octagonal ponds. In the center starts an octagonal pillar, which supports a large cup; on this another support, in the form of a baluster, and finally a smaller cup. Above this, the figure of Venus, who is represented wringing out her hair with her hands.

The Fuente de Baco or bacchus fountain is located in the center of a large circular pylon, and is made up of two elements. On the one hand, the pedestal, made in marble between 1566 and 1570, belongs to the sculptural group of Samson and the Philistine. It was part of the Medici garden in Florence and, from the beginning of the 17C, of the Ribera garden in Valladolid; Felipe IV gave the main sculpture to Charles I of England, which is why it is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, while the pedestal was moved to Aranjuez. It consists of a square central piece, with four sirens on the corners that, like caryatids, seem to support the polylobed cup. On this, a square base on which the sculpture rests. On the other hand, the figure of Bacchus. The Fuente de Neptuno or neptune fountain was commissioned in 1621 by Felipe III. Originally it had the group of the Rape of Ganymede and was where the Ring fountain would later be located, but in 1662 it was relocated by Felipe IV, replacing the original group with that of Neptune and adding six more sculptures: Neptune, Ceres or Cibeles and Juno. they were repeated and the seventh was Jupiter. At the beginning of the 19C, the duplication of Juno and Neptune was reduced and later the statues of Juno and Jupiter were eliminated, so that only Neptune and Ceres or Cibeles duplicate remain.

In 1777, under the reign of Carlos III, a dam was built over the Tagus over 300 meters long, topped with an iron railing between pedestals with vases , At the beginning of the walk, as you enter the garden through the eastern bridge, the Fuente de la Boticaria fountain is located. It comes from the Jardin del Principe or Prince’s garden (see post), from where it was moved in 1889; it has been documented since 1807 and features two putti, dolphins and shells on a rock. The Huerta del Infante or garden of the Infant. It consists of two sheets of railings between brick pilasters, topped by shell-shaped sculptures made of Colmenar stone. This space occupies an area of ​​twelve hectares, between the ordered garden and the Tagus riverbed, and was improved between 1777 and 1786. In contemporary times it is an empty plot, with only a building from 1987 intended for gardeners. The Jardin y Fuente de Diana or diana’s garden and fountain was laid out in 1748. It was a French-style flower garden, although enclosed by a wall; later, the drawing of the squares was lost, transformed into pieces of prairie with trees, and the wall was eliminated, being delimited by boxwood hedges. It has four symmetrical pieces around two cross axes and in the center a roundabout where a pond and fountain are located. The Jardín de la Isleta thanks to the contributions of sediments from the Tagus and the Ría, a tongue of land was formed, the so-called Isleta. It was separated from the Island by a wall; Felipe V ordered the suppression of this and the organization of a parterre. The project was carried out in 1731 in a semicircular space, with the Tritons fountain in the center. This was placed in 1759, until in 1847 it was installed in the Campo del Moro in Madrid. The whole complex was surrounded by a railing. In contemporary times the Isleta lost a good part of these elements.

In different points of Aranjuez viewpoints were placed with the aim of enjoying nature; four of them were in the Jardin de la Isla. One with views of the Aceñas dam and the Barcas bridge; another next to the Tagus bridge, in front of the Picotajo orchards; another next to the place where the Tagus and the Jarama joined, which was moved to the new joint of the rivers in the 18C after the change of course of the Jarama; and lastly the one located next to the Enmedio bridge, with views of the Star ceiling and the main entrance of the Royal Palace.

The city of Aranjuez on the gardens:

The Aranjuez tourist office on the gardens :

The Comunidad de Madrid region tourist office on the gardens:

There you go folks, a nice palace and beautiful gardens in a nice town of AranjuezMaybe not a love story for you or me but nevertheless its a very romantic place especially in Jardin de la Isla. Enjoy the gardens of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez!!

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

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