La Rosaleda del Retiro

The Rose Garden, or La Rosaleda as it is known in Spanish, was the most important landscaped area designed by the former chief gardener, Cecilio Rodríguez, in 1915. Chosen for this purpose was the part where the Paseo de Coches curved to the west, a spot where a large stove or greenhouse stood that had belonged to the Marquis of Salamanca. Rose bushes brought from many well-known European gardens were planted here, although they were also destroyed in the Civil War. In 1941, four thousand rose bushes were planted once again.

It is symmetrical in shape, with an elliptical layout, and featuring two fountains in the largest diameter of the ellipse and a network of paths that spread out the flower beds, bordered by box hedges and decorated with metal pergolas forming arches. La Rosaleda was fully restored in 2001 and 2006, entailing the replacement of the aged rose bushes and the repair of the various metal structures. Today it boasts five thousand five hundred and seventy varieties of low and climbing roses of one hundred and thirty different species.

La Rosaleda del Retiro photograph, taken by Antonello Dellanotte

© Antonello Dellanotte