With 1,722.60 hectares of natural space, this location is the most important public park in Madrid. The history of Casa de Campo began with the decision by Philip II to move the Court to Madrid, and reside there. The King built a manor house linking the Palace with the hunting area called El Pardo. Later, farms and fields bought from the areas surrounding the Casa de Campo were added.
It was declared a Bosque Real (Royal Forest) under Fernando VI. As a result of the hunting and country atmosphere of the farm, as well as its proximity to the Palace, the original country house belonging to the Vargas Family was enlarged to host the Royal Family for such activities. Carlos III gave it a new twist when he introduced livestock and agriculture as one of its purposes, which would be continued by Queen María Cristina.
After the proclamation of the Second Republic, the State donated the Casa de Campo to the people of Madrid (May 1st, 1931), and it has been open to the public ever since. During the Spanish Civil War, many battles were fought there, and the numerous bombings affected its antique construction, giving rise to new military constructions, which still can be seen.
There are many facilities inside the premises, such as the Amusement Park, the Zoo, the Aerial Cable Car (connecting the Casa de Campo with the Parque del Oeste - West Park on the other side of the Manzanares River), a part of the IFEMA (Trade Fair Institution of Madrid) premises, the Madrid Arena multi-service building, Venta de Batán (traditional place to hold bulls during the days before the bullfights at the Las Ventas Bullring) and many other popular sports facilities.