Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hola from Madrid Part 2! Gardens at Royal Palace-La Granja

Hola! I can't believe I am on day 7 of my trip to Spain...I am in love with this country on so many levels and for so many reasons but primarily because of the beauty..everything I have seen is just simply spectacular!

On day 2 of our trip, our wonderful friend Chico organized for us to go into the countryside about an hour outside of Madrid. The village of La Granja has buildings dating back to the 15th century and is just lovely..really, stunning..I will do a separate blog on the town in a day or two..

The main draw for people to La Granja is to see the Royal Palace at La Granja and its gardens..the palace dates to the 18th century and was the summer home of royalty of Spain for centuries..It is considered Spain's Versailles..

Here I will show you the gardens..SPECTACULAR!!!!
over 1,500 acres...26 very elaborate fountains..the garden was designed by only French landscape designers from the 1700s...

If you ever make it to Spain, this is a MUST do....

It was quite a big deal for us to get to see this fountain in action--this area of Spain is in a drought and as it relies solely on the reservoir of La Granja for water, restrictions are in place during droughts and fountains can only be working certain times of each week..we arrive in time to see this as people (hundreds) were clapping and cheering...

There are 26 of these bronze fountains throughout the garden..they are breathtaking:

This one is the "Bath of Diana"..the parts that you see that are rough looking are made of actual is a myth that King Philip V remarked in the late 1700s that "it has cost me three million and amused me three minutes." HA!

The Fountain of Neptuno:

Ahhhhhhh, the colors of the garden.....Japanese Maples (one of my favorite trees) are everywhere, everywhere, everywhere in Spain..also, Rhododendron and Cedars and Jasmine are robust and's a great combination for a garden...the cedar, japanese maples, rhododendron, jasmine

And these Chestnut trees were in full bloom..gorgeous to look at it and sweet, sweet, sweet to smell...

As a designer, I found all of the sculpture and vases to be mesmerizing...VERY detailed and intricately designed..

And here I am happy, happy, happy and giving you a sense of scale...remember I am 5'10"..even in my relaxed stance of repose I am probably 5'8" from ground up and you can see how massive this vase is...

Adios for now! today is our last day in Madrid...we travel by train to Seville tomorrow...
Muchos gracias..

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