In the heart of the Retiro Park lies this large lake, a popular spot with the city’s residents, who go there to sunbathe or hire rowing boats.
Built in the early seventeenth century, the lake was the heart of the garden belonging to the Buen Retiro palace and was used to stage spectacles such as reconstructions of naval battles and to allow the royal family and the court to enjoy boat trips..
In 1902 the monument to Alfonso XII was erected. Financed by popular subscription, it is an outstanding example of historicist architecture. The monument was designed by José Grases Riera and completed by Teodoro Anasagasti, while the equestrian statue crowning it is the work of Mariano Benlliure.
Parque del Retiro, 28009 Madrid. Map