La Granja de San Ildefonso: a walk through the Royal Gardens


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Panoramic view of the Royal Palace, whose construction began in 1721Panoramic view of the Royal Palace, whose construction began in 1721

If there is something that really motivates me, when I visit some places, it is that immediately I have the feeling, when I set foot in them for the first time, that they were conceived, solely and exclusively, as a method to disturb the senses and put the imagination to the test. 

Overview of the real dependenciesOverview of the real dependencies

So in this post, I would like to tempt your sensitivity or at least try it, inviting you to accompany me to a place, of course very special, that I hope, from the heart, will leave you, at least, a pleasant taste in your mouth.

Double staircase with access to the gardensDouble staircase with access to the gardens

For this, it is necessary to focus our attention on that bordering community with Madrid, not without history, beauty, tradition and why not say it, also with melancholic charm, which is Segovia.

Realistic image of Diana the HuntressRealistic image of Diana the Huntress

Imagine, then, that you are on that limit, about seventy kilometers from Madrid, although on this other side of the Sierra de Guadarrama or del Dragon, as it was known in the Middle Ages, very close, also, to another place, El Espinar. , in one of whose hills the archaeologists have just discovered one of the camps ordered by Julius Caesar, when, being just a proconsul of Rome, he came to quell the repeated rebellions of Lusitanians, Arevacos and Vacceos, bellicose Celtiberian tribes that inhabited these lands.

Diana the Huntress. ForegroundDiana the Huntress. Foreground

Lands, on the other hand, rich in pastures for cattle and also in mountains, both high and low, whose beauty is possibly small compared to the plurality and greatness of the infinite plant species that grow on its soil.

Another very realistic image of DianaAnother very realistic image of Diana

Well, a few kilometers further on, not so many as to think that the trip could be exhausting, the town of La Granja de San Ildefonso rises around a Palace and some Royal Gardens, where the dynasty of the Bourbon kings, wanted to emulate, in part, the grandeur of their counterparts, the great palaces and gardens of Versailles.

White marble vases with allegorical motifsWhite marble vases with allegorical motifs

This happened, at the time of King Felipe V, of whom it is said that, tired of the footlights of Madrid's Alcázar, he ordered his architects to build him, in this place, a country house and some splendid gardens, which would serve to restore, in part, the nostalgia he had for those others at Versailles.

Natural beautyNatural beauty

Curiously, the country house, to which the Bourbon king alluded, turned out to be a splendid palace, whose beauty would have to be looked for much more inside, but which, unfortunately, is completely forbidden to photographers, so that regretting it a lot, I can only show you some exteriors, which I hope you appreciate.

Archetypes: Fauns and SatyrsArchetypes: Fauns and Satyrs

It is also true that sometimes places are not reached at the most appropriate time, especially when they not only need exemplary maintenance, but also a series of necessary restorations, so I can only show you a part of said gardens, enough, I hope, so that they think that they have not made the trip in vain with me and can admire a truly wonderful place, to which I promise to return, when time and circumstances allow, to make them partakers of what in this moment, as I say, I can't show you.

Towards the iconic Neptune fountainTowards the iconic Neptune fountain

Something similar, you can believe it, happened to our famous writer Juan Eslava Galán, when a few years ago he visited this place, with the difference that he could not even appreciate this part of the garden that I show you and yet his pen when it comes to recognizing that this is one of those thousand places to see in Spain, at least once in a lifetime.

Reflections in the water: worlds within other worldsReflections in the water: worlds within other worlds

It could be said that the access to the gardens is at the back of that 'discreet hut' - apparently, verbatim words - that King Felipe V commissioned his architect, Teodoro Ardemans, which is the palace and which is accessed by an interesting classical balustrade, made of living stone similar to the Escurialense (stone from El Escorial), equipped with steps at both ends.

The winged horse, Pegasus, crowns the fountainThe winged horse, Pegasus, crowns the fountain

Now is the time to let your imagination fly, thinking that your feet descend those same steps, in some points touched commiserably by the patina of the centuries, which the Spanish kings and their descendants, as well as the noblest lineage, stepped on centuries ago. the same one that intensely enjoyed privileges forbidden to the rest of the mortals.

Mythological aquatic figuresMythological aquatic figures

Its similarities, both in shape, distribution and statuary, with the longed-for French and Italian designs, is obvious as soon as one begins to become familiar, at least with this part and see those extraordinary hedges, designed, far from chance, by an intentional geometric distribution that recalls, comparatively speaking, the feats on the plane performed by medieval stonemasons initiated in the so-called Sacred Geometry.

Beauty and natureBeauty and nature

And beyond that geometry, within that wide spectrum of unnamed latent archetypes in the collective unconscious of Humanity - at least, of the Western one - the inevitable references to those great phenomena of mythology of all times, which are the inevitable Greco-Latin references.

A panoramic view of the Spanish ’Versailles’A panoramic view of the Spanish 'Versailles'

You carefully carved references in the cold marble, which, however, when one is accompanied by the aroma of the marigolds that embellish the garden, by the sweet breath of the wind that sneaks through the branches of the dense pine and fir trees that They surround him and by the enchanting whisper of the water that drips from its innumerable fountains, he begins to experience a series of curious sensations, to the point of making him think that in reality, like Alice, he has crossed the border of another world.

The sun shining on a majestic sculpture of BacchusThe sun shining on a majestic sculpture of Bacchus

A world inhabited by those same immortal beings that populated the legends of the western peoples and whose majestic epic adventures were gradually replaced, not forgotten, by the appearance of other cults.

Reflections: worlds in collisionReflections: worlds in collision

There, wrapped in the sweet placidity of silence and oblivion, Diana seems to be waiting for the moon to rise to launch herself frantically running through the woods, always followed by her faithful hounds; Neptune also rests, there, in that metaphorical Axis Mundi of the fountain that it shares with Pegasus, with Prometheus, with the complacent Bacchus and even with the rebellious Ulysses, while fauns, satyrs and Nereids change color and metamorphose at the whim of those mirrors natural sources that are water.


In short: a place especially recommended to let yourself be carried away by the senses and think, like the actor Roberto Benigni, that life, after all, is always beautiful.


Small Photographic Collection:

Sculpture of Neptune, pouring out the waters of lifeSculpture of Neptune, pouring out the waters of life The majestic beauty of the MythsThe majestic beauty of the Myths Light and shadowLight and shadow Allegory of the art of huntingAllegory of the art of hunting Faun in the foregroundFaun in the foreground Traditional vase and palaceTraditional vase and palace Family expectationFamily expectation

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NOTICE: Both the text and the photographs that accompany it, as well as the video that illustrates it, are my exclusive intellectual property and therefore, are subject to my Copyright.

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Maravilloso lugar amigo juancar, y las fotos realmente revelan la belleza y el encanto del sitio, un gran abrazo.


En realidad, son unos jardines impresionantes, que tienen mucho que ver, pues tienen como 26 fuentes, aunque las principales es ésta que muestro y otras cinco. Por desgracia, el día que estuve sólo pude ver ésta por cuestiones de mantenimiento, de modo que dejo el resto para un futuro reportaje. Un abrazo

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Thank-you very much

Tanto en las fotografías como en el vídeo se puede apreciar lo encantador de este lugar ,esta foto es genial se ve perfectamente reflejado en las aguas , muy hermoso .
Un abrazo y cuídate


Es un lugar extraordinario, aunque por desgracia en esta entrada sólo puedo mostrar una mínima parte y desde luego, aunque hermosa, este jardín las tiene todavía mucho más espléndidas. Cuídate mucho tú también y gracias por tu comentario.