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The Retiro Park in Madrid is located on an area of 120 hectares. It is famous for fancy fountains, e.g. in the shape of an artichoke. Various cultural events are organized here, such as the annual book fair. Tourist attractions include: the colonnade surrounding the monument to Alfonso XII, the Crystal Palace, Fisherman's House and eighteenth-century sculptures depicting Spanish rulers.
Initially, they were royal gardens surrounding the no longer existing Buen Retiro Palace from the 17th century. Access to part of the royal gardens was given to subjects at the request of King Charles III, who was very well liked and valued.
In the nineteenth century, it was the headquarters of the Napoleonic army, the park was devastated, trees were cut down and beautiful pavilions were destroyed. During the reign of Queen Isabella II, it was restored to its original appearance and put into full use for public use.