From Royal Stables to a Majestic Garden: Jardines de Sabatini
By Sylvia Jopillo,r.a. for GoGlobalToday.
The Sabatini Garden, found on the northern side of the Royal Palace in Madrid, got its name after an Italian architect who worked in Spain in the 18th century to construct the Royal Palace and the various vital monuments in Madrid, such as the Puerta de Alcala and multiple convents.
The present garden is in Calle Bailen, at the very heart of the city. The locals say that the former royal stables used to occupy the site until the construction of the garden in the 1930"s. King Juan Carlos I opened the garden to the general public in 1978.
A series of compact gardens, classically-designed with fountains, several sculptures, mini-labyrinths, cypresses, walkways, and a centrally-situated rectangular pond, pull together these elements into a harmonious whole. The Sabatini Garden echoes the neoclassical style of the Royal Palace.
Sitting on a bench in the Sabatini gardens is a tranquil pause from the ever-encroaching noise of the city. There are sparsely hidden park benches from those strolling along the main walkways.
One can hear the gentle splashing of the water from a fountain at the center of one of the labyrinths, obscured from view and flanked by a couple of old cypresses. I anticipate a faun with a mischievous grin to pop up at a corner and beckon me to follow him into the labyrinth for an adventure!
The garden invites visitors to a stroll along its small pathways and main walkways. Its English-inspired layout calls to mind old gardens with the statues of the Spanish kings around the central pond with its fountain.
The garden divides into three terraces laid out over a two-hectare enclosure. A flight of broad stairs leads to the upper portion of the gardens, where one can enjoy the panorama of the greens of Casa de Campo at a distance and the spread of the entire garden below.
There is also a rose garden with benches situated closer together, a vast stairway from the main road, and an expansive walk leading to the Plaza de España with its bustling traffic and frantic street life.
Many say that the best time to visit the garden is sunset when the central pond reflects dusk's colours and echoes the Royal Palace's gray. But for me, the garden is a must-visit anytime in any season!
A visit also has an added value as the garden is a walking distance from the Royal Palace, Plaza de Oriente with its majestic statues and hedges and trees, Teatro Real, and the Cerralbo Museum.
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