*Featured image credit: byvalet / Shutterstock.com
The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family in Madrid, but is only really used for state ceremonies. The palace used to have royal stables as part of its grounds, which were designed by Italian architect Francesco Sabatini, but, in 1933 these were cleared away, as they had fallen into a state of disrepair. Fortunately, all was not lost, as in its place the Sabatini Gardens were created, a project that was finally completed in the late 1970’s.
A Neoclassical Design
The neoclassical design of the Sabatini Gardens has earned them quite the reputation, with many considering this to be the finest gardens in Madrid. The focal point of the garden is the expansive pond that is set in the middle, complete with a gurgling fountain. Surrounding this is a maze of hedges that have been sculpted into extravagant geometric patterns, making them look even more spectacular from up above.
The Best Viewpoint
From just about every point around the gardens, visitors can enjoy gorgeous views of the palace and their surroundings. However, there is one spot in particular that those in the know will always flock to, as the views from here are unparalleled. Simply make your way to the majestic stone staircase at the foot of the garden, which can be found directly across from the pond. From here, you will be able to view the palace in perfect symmetry, as it is beautifully framed by lush trees on either side, and also boasts a mirrored reflection within the pond in front of it.
When to Visit
The Sabatini Gardens are open throughout the year, but one of the best times to visit is during the summer months, as this is when the Los Veranos de la Villa summer festival is held here. This turns the Sabatini Gardens into a vibrant venue for a wide range of performances, from open-air music concerts to Flamenco to dramatic theatre shows. Alternatively, if you are not going to be in Madrid at this time, it would be worthwhile coinciding your visit with the sunset, as the reds and yellows of this time of the day are reflected by the pond in such an extraordinary way. For those who would like to explore the Royal Palace too, there are many guided tours that you can sign up for, and these will teach you all about the history and heritage of the area, as well as point out some of the highlights of the gardens.
Bring a Picnic
For those who want to spend some time in the Sabatini Gardens, soaking up the sun, do try to pack a picnic to bring along with you. There are quite a few picnic areas dotted around the garden, and these are well shaded with cypress and pine trees, while offering stunning views of the scenery around you.
There are several different formal gardens that surround the Royal Palace, but the Sabatini Gardens is, without a doubt, one of the best. With its immaculate neoclassical design and its incredible sense of tranquillity, these gardens provide quite the respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.