Retiro Park and Paseo del Prado Boulevard in Madrid Added to UNESCO’s List

Published July 26th, 2021 - 09:50 GMT
Crystal Palace in Retiro park
Crystal Palace in Retiro park (Shutterstock)
How fabulous to see Madrid's Retiro Park added to Unesco’s list of world heritage sites.
Unesco described the locations as a landscape of arts and sciences.

One of Europe's most famous streets Retiro Park and Paseo del Prado boulevard have been added to UNESCO's World Heritage List. 

Retiro Park is a green refuge of 118 hectares in the center of the city of Madrid. Paseo del Prado boulevard is another icon of the capital, featuring six museums, major fountains such as the Fuente de Cibeles as well as the famous Plaza de Cibeles square.

“Proud of our city, and happy for Spain and the legacy of its capital,” tweeted Madrid mayor, Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida.

The decision, made on Sunday, brings the total number of World Heritage Sites in Spain to 49.

The UN's cultural organization said it was in recognition of the key roles both had played in the city's history.


“Collectively, they illustrate the aspiration for a utopian society during the height of the Spanish Empire,” UNESCO said.

Every year, UNESCO evaluates 25 proposals for additions to the World Heritage List. In the case of the Paseo del Prado and Retiro Park, the site was judged on whether it evidenced an exchange of considerable architectural influences, was a representative example of a form of construction or complexity, and if was associated with traditions that are still alive today. The famous park and boulevard sought to be inscribed on the UNESCO list in 1992, but its candidacy did not reach the final stage of the process. The effort to win recognition for the sites’ outstanding universal value began again in 2014. An advisor from UNESCO visited the site in October 2019.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee, holding an online meeting from Fuzhou, China, backed the candidacy on Sunday that highlighted the green area’s introduction of nature into Spain’s capital. 

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