Exploring historic gardens of Spain

From prehistoric relics to contemporary wonders
2024-05-28
/
/ New Delhi
Exploring historic gardens of Spain
Exploring historic gardens of Spain

These well-tended spaces hide impressive sculptures and fascinating stories

Dense canopy of native trees, legendary ancient sculptures, ivy-clad waterfalls, these dreamy gardens of Spain have stood the test of time to now continue to enthral both tourists and locals alike.
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Spain’s lesser known yet exotically beautiful gardens are part of the European Route of Historic Gardens. While enjoying a walk in the open air, it is hard to miss that these well-tended spaces hide impressive sculptures and fascinating stories. Spain Tourism Board enlists some of the magnificent gardens to explore in the country.

Gardens of Santa Clotilde

Gardens of Santa Clotilde

This splendid garden sits a cliff overlooking the sea

Located in Costa Brava in Lloret de Mar, Gardens of Santa Clotilde is beautifully rich in greenery. In what the tourism board describes as a “fairytale balcony overlooking the Mediterranean,” at the beginning of the 20th century, the Marquis of Roviralta built his country home and the splendid gardens that surround it here on a cliff overlooking the sea. The gardens are currently open to the public and visitors can stroll among their ponds, sculptures of mythological characters such as Venus, stairs adorned with ivy that disappear in a waterfall of vegetation. The main staircase, the Staircase of the Sirens, descends from an esplanade to the sea or the large amphitheatre-like square. Enroute visitors will be surrounded by pine, lime, oak and cypress trees and from the Boadella viewpoint, they will be able to see sea birds, the mouth of the River Tordera and the coves of S’Agulla, Santa Cristina and Boadella. Throughout the year, these gardens tend to hold concerts or workshops for the whole family.

Parc Samà Historical Garden

Parc Samà Historical Garden

Parc Samà Historical Garden is an open-air botanical museum with exotic plants and different animals

In Cambrils in Tarragona, visitors will find one of the best examples of 19th-century Romantic gardens. “The experience of walking here is like visiting an open-air botanical museum with exotic plants and different animals,” says the board. This park was created by the Marquis of Marianao in 1881 in an effort to transport the visitor to the splendour of colonial Cuba. Today, it has several very remarkable areas such as the greenhouse, which houses more than 75 species of palms, the plant labyrinth, the lookout tower and the hundred-year-old trees that surround the palatial home. There is also a beautiful marsh cypress on the island by the bridge overlooking the canal, the waterfall and the lake. And a tour of the farm will also offer opportunities to spot birds like the fallow deer forest, the macaw area and the old pheasant farm.

Raixa Estate

Raixa Estate

Raixa Estate is known for its monumental staircase, pond & the panoramic views

In the Tramuntana mountain range of Majorca in Bunyola, there is an 18th-century Italian-style villa with a lot of history. Why are the gardens that surround it so evocative? With a monumental staircase, pond and the panoramic views, in the lower part of the gardens one will find the beautiful entrance gate, the orchard and different gardens such as the Orange Garden, the Gallery Garden and the “d’Entrada” Garden.

The upper gardens are arranged around a monumental staircase dedicated to the deity Apollo, with a huge pond about 83 metres long, an artificial cave, a small hermitage and a neoclassical viewpoint located at the highest point. There is also a visitor centre dedicated to the Sierra de Tramuntana to learn much more about its natural assets. 

Cultural landscape of Aranjuez

Cultural landscape of Aranjuez

Neighbouring to Aranjuez is the well-known Castañuelas waterfall

In Madrid, the Royal Palace of Aranjuez and its gardens have been awarded the World Heritage designation by UNESCO. This entire cultural landscape was initially designed by the monarch Felipe II in the 16th century until it became, over the centuries, the spring country residence of the various Spanish kings. Today, walking through the more than 111 hectares of its gardens is one of the most wonderful experiences in the Madrid area, says the tourism board. It features a Garden of the Island from the 16th century, which is the closest to the palace. In reality, it is a set of different gardens with fountains adorned with sculptures of characters such as Hercules and Hydra, Apollo, the Boy with Thorn, Venus or Bacchus. Nearby is the well-known Castañuelas waterfall  and a little further from the Palace is the Prince’s Garden, from the 18th century. It is the largest fenced park in Europe and has more than 190 species of trees. 

Gardens of La Granja de San Ildefonso

Gardens of La Granja de San Ildefonso

Ildefonso’s sculptural ensembles easily catch the eyes of all visitors

In the neighbouring province of Segovia, the gardens of the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso stand as icon of the French formal style of the 17th century. Thanks to the abundance of water in the area, King Philip V was able to commission the construction of spectacular fountains whose hydraulic systems are preserved to this day, such as those of Fame, the Baths of Diana or the striking Horse Race. The garden’s sculptural ensembles, which combine lead painted in bronze colours and marble statues, easily catch the eyes of all visitors.

Heritage Gardens of the Alhambra and the Generalife

Heritage Gardens of the Alhambra and the Generalife

Everything in Alhambra has symbolism and conceals different legends

The Alhambra was a palace, citadel, fortress and residence of the Nasrid sultans starting the 13th century; and since then, its gardens have been an inseparable part of the palaces of the Alhambra and the Generalife.

Walking among them is an indescribable experience that awakens the senses and the emotions: The sound of the fountains mingles with the scent of roses, violets, lilies, wallflowers, water lilies, myrtle, basil, thyme, rosemary, lavender and jasmine. Everything has symbolism and conceals different legends.

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