Occupying an area of just over two hectares, the Sabatini Gardens are located in front of the north facade of the Royal Palace of Madrid. It is a neoclassical garden in keeping with the palace. Although it can be contemplated splendidly from the railing on Bailén street, it is best to go down its monumental stairs, built in 1972, when the gardens were renovated, and enjoy it from below.
The space now occupied by the Sabatini Gardens was the site of the Royal Stables built in the 18th century by the Italian architect Francesco Sabatini next to the palace. The Madrid City Council, in order to build a public park, conducted a competition whereby the winner of the project was the architect Fernando García Mercadal from Zaragoza. In 1933, the demolition of the buildings of the stables began and the construction of the gardens began and finally completed in the late seventies. They opened to the public in 1978 by King Juan Carlos I.
With its formal neoclassical style, there are well-pruned hedges, in symmetrical geometric patterns, with trees also arranged in a symmetrical geometric shape. The area is divided into three terraces or levels, each with its own charm. Strolling along its paths and confirming the perfection of all the symmetry displayed in these gardens, is enchanting.
The Sabatini Gardens are adorned with a pond, statues and fountains. The statues represent ancient Spanish kings, which were not originally intended to adorn a garden. They are part of the collection of one hundred sculptures made during the construction of the Royal Palace. These statues have also been distributed in other areas, such as the cornice of the Palace itself, the Plaza de Oriente, the Retiro and the Capricho Parks.
It is the pond that serves as a mirror of the north facade of the Royal Palace of Madrid, the axis of the whole. And precisely, it is the perfect spot to take a picture of this side of the Palace. Why not, a “selfie” too?
The best thing about this space, besides the fact that its entrance is free, is having the opportunity to sit on one of its benches and enjoy a good moment of tranquility and serenity. The vegetation, the beautiful views, the water and the art, all it in the midst of Madrid and worth visiting.
We had the opportunity to visit the Sabatini Gardens when its renovation had already been completed, at the end of May 2022. The transition that took us from the gardens to the Plaza de España was done very well.
We don’t want to conclude without sharing a picture of the peacocks we spotted from Bailén Street, at the top of some trees. After a lifetime of seeing them on the ground, we found it very curious to see them in the trees and remembering that they are in fact, birds.