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The Garden of Isabella II, Aranjuez

In the beautiful city of Aranjuez (Madrid, Spain), in front of the “Plaza de San Antonio”, we find the Garden of Isabel II, also known as the Garden of the Little Princess. It is said to be the first landscaped space for public use in this city and possibly one of the first of its kind in Spain. The work was carried out between 1830 and 1834.

Originally, the site was used as a resting place or  stables. However, in 1830, Don Miguel del Pino, who held the position of administrator, arranged for the planting of a square of trees on that site, which from the balconies of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez offered an unattractive view.

During the First Republic its name was changed to Serrano’s Garden and the sculpture of Isabel II was hidden. It was not until 1875, under Alfonso XII, that the sculpture was replaced. The layout of the space was maintained until 1929 and after the civil war its design was simplified. The garden was restored between 1999 and 2000.

The long path leading to the sculpture of Queen Isabel II, as a child, is serene, tranquil, full of the greenery of the flowerbeds and very well structured. It presents a cross-shaped layout, with two perpendicular ground streets that meet in a circular square. In the central square, there are eight benches made of Colmenar stone by Sabatini and eight vases by Jean Thierry. In the center, behind an iron gate, there is a bronze sculpture of Isabel II presented as a girl on a marble pedestal, with the following inscription:

“To Isabella II, Queen of Spain
Her Exalted Mother
María Cristina de Borbón
Governor of the Kingdom

Agreed to the placement of this monument.
Built at the expense of Juan Luis Brunet
In memory of the
Grandiose events
of the year MDCCCXXXIV”

The work was promoted by the French ambassador in Spain, Juan Luis Brunet, and carried out by Desboeufs and L. Ravrio, while the gate -which replaced an earlier wooden one in 1844- is attributed to Narciso Pascual Colomer. The events to which it refers would be the signing of the Quadruple Alliance in 1834, an international treaty signed between the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Portugal on April 22, 1834, by which the four States undertook to expel from Portugal the Portuguese Infante Miguel and the Spanish Infante Carlos.

Since 1931 it has been an Asset of Cultural Interest and since 2001 it has been a World Heritage Site as part of the Cultural Landscape of Aranjuez declaration.