A couple of weeks ago I had a free afternoon, so I went to visit the Royal Botanical Garden here in Madrid. The garden was founded by King Ferdinand VI in 1755 and designed by Francisco Sabatini and Juan de Villanueva. It’s purpose was not only to showcase plants, but to also help educate people in the field of botany.
The garden is quite large making it a perfect place for a post lunch stroll. It is home to a variety of plants and trees from all over the world numbering in the tens of thousands. There are also a few greenhouses, one of which houses the carnivorous plant, a plant that eats flies.
Sergio acted as tour guide as we made our way through the winding paths and up small steps within the garden. He had taken a course on medicinal plants a few years ago, and was able to explain how various plants are used to help cure or alleviate different diseases and ailments.
I didn’t know what to expect going into the garden, but I personally think I would have enjoyed seeing more flowers. Most of the garden is covered in other non-floral plants, such as trees and bushes. After awhile they blended into each other, and I got a wee bit bored staring at one green leaf after another. However, I’m glad we went. It allowed me to take a short break away from the noisy and fast paced environment of the city. I was able to have a quiet moment to reflect on a few thoughts while literally stopping to smell the roses.
Real Jardin Botanico
Plaza de Murillo, 2
Entrance: 3€ for general admission, 1.50€ for students, free for senior and children under 10
Hours: Varies throughout the year, but from May – August it is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.