Located across from the Royal Palace, this 1.6-hectare garden is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Madrid. The gardens were planned by José Bonaparte, who wanted the gardens to highlight the Palacio and the Teatro Real. Since then, they have undergone significant restoration work. Miguel de Oriol directed the most important restoration work in 1997.
The equestrian statute of Philip IV stands out in the centre of the Plaza. Pietro Tacca created it in 1960, following calculations performed by Galileo Galilei and flanked by a large part of the collection of statues of Spanish kings crowned by the Royal Palace. The Gardens have been designed in geometrical shapes in order to provide air and enhance the façade of the Royal Palace. Moreover, they are located in the centre of an important and impressive group, which includes not just the Palace, but also the Convent of La Encarnación.