A day of leisure

The Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso is a beautiful place about 80 km from Madrid. It’s like a little Versailles and today was one of the few days of the year when all twenty-six fountains run. Is such an amazing spectacle that I though you may want to see it if you never been there.

The Palace was built during the reign of King Philip V of Spain (XVIII century) and used to be one of the summer residence for the royal family. Nowadays is “Royal Site” and is open to the public as a museum.

The gardens around the palace are one of the best examples of 18th-century European garden design. The French designer used the natural slope from the mountains to the palace grounds both as an aid for visual perspective and as a source for sufficient head to make water shoot out of the twenty-six sculptural fountains that decorate the park.

The original waterworks and piping are still functional. They rely purely on gravity to project water up to the forty-meter height of the fountain jet of Perseus and Andromeda. An artificial lake, El Mar, “the Sea”, lies secluded at the highest point of the park, and provides a reservoir and water pressure for the whole system.

All of the fountains represent themes from classical mythology. They cast in lead to prevent corrosion, and painted over to simulate bronze, a nobler material, or lacquered over white oxidized lead to imitate marble.

Pictures were taken by my daughter Pilar (I have to say it!)

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