Before us is one of the green spaces that make up the natural artistic heritage of Madrid. It is one of the most beautiful and, paradoxically, one of the least known. The Duke and Duchess of Osuna--especially by the Duchess, María Josefa de la Soledad Alonso Pimentel, created it in 1784. As a protector of artists, bullfighters, and intellectuals, the Duchess created an authentic natural paradise frequently visited by the most distinguished personalities of the period, and where the most prestigious artists, gardeners, and set designers worked.
After the death of the Duchess, the Park began to lose popularity, a situation that continued until 1974 when the Madrid City Council bought the Park and began its restoration, which finished in 1999. The Park houses important botanical, sculptural, and artistic treasures. Among them are shrines, hermitages, fountains, small plazas, and the palace of dukes, among others. The garden is composed of three sections: the parterre or French garden, the English landscape, and the Italian giardino.
The parterre lies in front of the west façade of the palace, with its trimmed hedges embroidering the lawn. The Italian garden is in the lower section, the oldest part of the original property, where the hedges are combined with trees under which people can sit in the sun during winter, or take shelter from it in the summer. Nearby, the labyrinth, created for amorous play as well as hide-and-seek, is made up of laurel trees and is consistent with the original plans used for the seeding and planting during the period in which the Duchess was still alive. And lastly, the remainder of the Park is designed as a typical English landscape garden, evoking nature in its pure state and suggesting leisurely walks and discovery of hidden places.
Visit the bunker at El Capricho Park
El Capricho keeps a secret: the well-known bunker of the Jaca Position, the only example in Europe of this kind of structures from the Spanish Civil War. The bunker was home to the headquarters of the Republican Army of the Central Region. Covering 2000m2, the shelter is covered by 15m-deep soil and offered protection against bombs of up to 100kg. It was built in the park in 1937 on a site that was far away from the front line, had excellent communication infrastructures and was surrounded by trees and bushes that would provide concealment.
The shelter has seven rectangular rooms (four to the right and three to the left), four exits to the park and a gallery reaching the street that runs across the basement of the Duques de Osuna Palace.
The bunker is open to the public on weekends only. Four guided tours for 20 people each are offered at 10, 10.30, 11 and 11.30 in the morning, each one half an hour long. Kids must be at least 8 years old for admission, and each child must be accompanied by an adult. Booking required.
For inquiries and bookings:
- Telephone number: (+34) 91 639 78 69. Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org