Campo del Moro

sights / Parks & gardens

Campo del Moro information

Location
Madrid , Spain
Address
Paseo de la Virgen del Puerto
Telephone
+34 91 454 88 00
Getting there
Metro: Príncipe Pío
More information
www.patrimonionacional.es
Opening hours
10am-8pm Mon-Sat, 9am-8pm Sun & holidays Apr-Sep, 10am-6pm Mon-Sat, 9am-6pm Sun & holidays Oct-Mar
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From this attractive park you can gain an appreciation of Madrid in its earliest days – it was from here, in what would become known as Campo del Moro (Moor’s Field), that an Almoravid army laid siege to the city in 1110. The troops occupied all but the fortress (where the Palacio Real now stands), but the Christian garrison held on until the Almoravid fury abated and their forces retired south. The 20 hectares of gardens that now adorn the site were first laid in the 18th century, with major overhauls in 1844 and 1890. The gardens combine quiet corners that feel like an expansive private garden with the monumental grandeur designed to mimic the gardens surrounding the palace at Versailles; nowhere is the latter more in evidence than along the east–west Pradera , a lush lawn with the Palacio Real as its backdrop. The gardens’ centrepiece, which stands halfway along the Pradera, is the elegant Fuente de las Conchas (Fountain of the Shells) designed by Ventura Rodríguez, the Goya of Madrid’s 18th-century architecture scene. The only entrance is from Paseo de la Virgen del Puerto.