Getting to know the history of Spain through its gardens is a great idea to spend this holiday in refreshing places with lots of vegetation. Many of our great parks were private grounds for Kings and witnesses of betrayals, romances and pacts.
If we start in the south of the peninsula we can visit one of the most famous gardens in the world and the oldest in the peninsula: the gardens of the Alhambra. An exceptional example of the Arab conception and use of gardens. Specifically in these the most characteristic plant is the myrtle or myrtle, from the Arabic al-rayhan, which means “the aromatic one”, since it is characteristic the smell of the essential oils that its leaves release when rubbing them.
Going up to the peninsular Plateau we came across Seville and the splendor of the park of María Luisa. These gardens inherit the Arab taste for the smell of plants and flowers, and therefore their paths smell of orange blossom, jasmine, roses or ladies at night. It is not in vain inspired by those of the Alhambra, but as it is later (dating from the early 20th century) it also incorporates other elements such as colored ceramics.
Before arriving in Madrid, the Garden Of The Prince of Aranjuez, irrigated by the Tagus, is an essential stop. It was created by Charles IV according to the fashion of the time that came from London and Paris. They were in the late EIGHTEENTH century, early NINETEENTH. It can be said that it is a monumental park but also with a great natural wealth. In addition, inside they have erected a Museum of Royal Faluas worth visiting.
Aranjuez “competes” with the gardens of the Palacio De La Granja, Segovia, where a few days a year you can see the fountains in operation. Their jets are driven only by the force of the water coming down from the mountains.
The Parque del Capricho, in Madrid, is also steeped in history, although, being a little far from the city centre –it is located in the Alameda de Osuna-is not a typical place for sightseeing. It still preserves a bunker of the Civil War that, in reality, has nothing to do with its history, since the park was created in 1784 by The Duchess of Osuna, doña María Josefa de la Soledad Alonso Pimentel, at the foot of its Palace, to the delight of artists, gardeners and scenographers, whom it protected as good patron of the arts.
Small but very flirty and deserving of a stop are the gardens known as “El Huerto De Calixto y Melibea”, in Salamanca. It is not more than 2,500 square meters of romantic garden and Muslim tradition that owes its name to the protagonists of Francisco de Rojas ‘ work “La Celestina” and that provides a wonderful view of the city.
And we ended up with a modernist garden like Parque Guëll, in Barcelona. Designed by Antonio Gaudí, this green space of the condal City offers wonderful views and is dotted with works of art. The curious thing is that originally it was projected as a closed urbanization of residential plots, a project that finally did not go ahead, for the benefit of the inhabitants of the city and the tourists, since it passed from private hands to the Town Hall.
In any case, any small and humble park in any city can bring us that necessary contact with nature and, of course, a little history.