Culture — Madrid

Palacio de Cristal
Art in the Crystal Palace

The Palacio de Cristal ("Crystal Palace") is a glass and metal structure located in Madrid's Buen Retiro Park. It was built in 1887 to exhibit flora and fauna from the Philippines. The architect was Ricardo Velázquez Bosco.


The Palacio de Cristal, in the shape of a Greek cross, is made almost entirely of glass set in an iron framework on a brick base, which is decorated with ceramics. Its cupola makes the structure over 22 meters high. The architecture was influenced by the glass and iron structural techniques of Joseph Paxton (who was responsible for London’s Crystal Palace and also for greenhouses such as the Palm House at Kew Gardens).

The structure was designed in a way that would allow it to be re-erected on another site (as happened to the equivalent building in London). However, the building has remained on the original site, next to a lake, and has been restored to its original appearance. It is no longer used as a greenhouse, and is currently used for art exhibits.The palacio de Crystal is set in gorgeous parkland, adjacent to a small lake (pond) complete with ducks and fountains it really is a lovely setting and somewhere one can sit and relax and just enjoy the setting.

Inside of the Palacio are held art exhibitions, since is a satellite site of the Reina Sofía Museum and is used for different installations. Artists like Olafur Eliasson have done installations there, and there are some of those installations, like the “Breath me” from the artists Kim Sooja that have been so amazing to have there. The Palacio de Cristal is a magnificent place to enjoy art, in the middle of El Retiro Park.



Palacio de Cristal

Paseo República de Cuba, 4
28009 Madrid, España