Campo del Moro
You can almost imagine how the eyes of Felipe V, the first of the Bourbon kings, lit up when the alcázar (Muslim-era fortress) burned...
Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Almudena
Paris has Notre Dame and Rome has St Peter’s Basilica. In fact, almost every European city of stature has its signature cathedral, a...
Plaza de Oriente
A royal palace that once had aspirations to be the Spanish Versailles. Sophisticated cafes watched over by apartments that cost the...
Cafe de Oriente
The outdoor tables of this distinguished old cafe are among the most sought-after in central Madrid, providing as they do a front-row...
La Mar del Alabardero
Paseo de la Virgen del Puerto · interesting places nearby
Campo del Moro information
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.