The Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid

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The Royal Botanical Gardens cover 8 acres in the centre of Madrid and are a wonderful place in which to wander, or just linger on a seat, perhaps after a visit to the Reina Sofia. Our AirBnB flat was only a 15-minute walk away and so it was easy to ‘pop in’.

Plan of the Botanic Gardens, Madrid:

A brief history

King Fernando VI founded the first gardens in 1755 in the north of Madrid, on the river banks. Just twenty years later Carlos III moved the gardens to their present location, next to the Prado Museum and on the Paseo del Prado.

The garden was designed in three terraces according to the classifications of Linnaeus. The aims were to create a beautiful garden but also to research botany and to teach people about plants.

Today the collections include about 90,000 plants and flowers, and 1,500 trees.

Terraza de los Cuadros

The plants in this terrace, closest to the main road, are arranged according to their use as ornamental, medicinal, aromatic and edible plants. In the middle of each square is a fountain.

Botanic gardens in Madrid
One of the fountains in the first terrace

The first group is ornamental plants and the dahlias here were spectacular!

Botanic Gardens in Madrid

The rose garden had passed its best but must be very pretty in June.

And finally there was the orchard, fruits and vegetables.

Botanic Gardens in Madrid
The orchards and vegetable gardens beyond the statue

Terraza de las Escuelas Botánicas 

The plants are arranged in ‘families’ here and this was all rather above my head, but I enjoyed these two!

Terraza del Plano de la Flor 

This part of the gardens dates from the mid-19th century. It is a collection of trees and shrubs laid out in the English style, i.e. less formally. At the top end of this section is the Villaneuva Pavilion which is earlier and dates from 1781.

Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid
Villanueva Pavilion
Botanical Gardens in Madrid
Pool in front of the Pavilion with the best of Linnaeus
Botanic Gardens in Madrid
General view at the end of the day in this part of the gardens

Corners and views in the gardens

Botanic Gardens in Madrid
Late afternoon in the gardens

The Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid are a joy, and of course there is also a cafe, just beyond the potting area.

Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid
Potting area and the cafe beyond

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