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Madrid Welcomes First Addition to Unesco World Heritage List

Boating on the lake in the Parque del Buen Retiro
Madrid Welcomes First Addition to Unesco World Heritage List

Madrid’s Paseo del Prado and the Retiro park have been added to Unesco’s World Heritage List. It is the 49th world heritage site in Spain, but the first in the Spanish capital.

The famous tree-lined avenue and the adjoining green lung were approved for inclusion by the Unesco committee, who said that “collectively, they illustrate the aspiration for a utopian society during the height of the Spanish Empire.”

Walking along the Paseo del Prado

Running from Plaza de la Cibeles to Plaza de Atocha (aka Plaza del Emperador Carlos V), the Paseo del Prado features a roll call of famous art institutions –  the Museo del Prado, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, home to Picasso’s Guernica.

The 3.3 square kilometres of the Parque del Buen Retiro, laid out in the 17th century for royal use before opening to the general public in 1848, is one of Europe’s most beautiful city parks.

“Today, in these times of pandemic, in a city that has suffered enormously for the past 15 months, we have a reason to celebrate with the first world heritage site in Spain’s capital,” said Madrid mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida.

 

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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