The Glass Palace (aka Palacio de Cristal) is an iron/glass architecture found inside the Retiro Park, Madrid. As you know, I am an “arrive first found out later” sort of tourist, so I found this place via following a crowd LOL inside the relatively calm Retiro Park (Parque de El Retiro).

Puerta de Alcala gate, Madrid
Puerta de Alcala gate is located in Plaza de la Independencia, Madrid. This is next to Retiro Park! So there’s no excuse to not pop into the park 😉

Inside Retiro Park (Parque de El Retiro)

Parque del Buen RetiroReitiro Park (Parque de El Retiro) is HUGE. It is undeniably the largest park in Madrid. It has space for lakes, rowing, museum (Palacio de Velazquez, pic is below), fountains, multiple restaurants etc. You get the idea? So you can imagine how strange it looked to see a whole bunch of people walking in a specific direction in a massive space like this.

Palacio de Velazquez
Palacio de Velazquez

The Glass Palace (Palacio de Cristal)

I was so surprised! Who knew that they’ll have something like this in the middle of a park! Lucky me, they were hosting and exhibition. Entry was FREE!!!

Inside The Glass Palace (Palacio de Cristal), Madrid.
The Glass Palace (Palacio de Cristal) was built in 1887! It was originally built to house tropical / exotic plants. The building was designed by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco.

Okay, there was a bit of queuing and everyone needed to wear shoe protector upon entry. It was worth the hassle.

Palimpsest by Doris Salcedo, Palacio de Cristal
This art installation is: Palimpsest by Doris Salcedo. The exhibition was organised by Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

Clearly, I had no idea what I was seeing here. I am not exactly the cultured / artsy type. I do appreciate the experience though. The design was just fascinating! Disappearing messages all over the floor. There’s something poetic about this whole set up. As the water dried out, the message left stains and disappeared eventually. I waited patiently for messages to resurface. Water seeped through the textured floor and eventually forming a ‘pop up’ message that looks like glistening gel. The message did not repeat itself over the same spot! What an amazing art piece! I loved it. It was a huge pity that I could not understand any Spanish.The glass palaceAnyways, I loved loved loved my visit. There was something very relaxing about the whole exhibition. The visitors in general were calm and quiet too. Personally, I won’t mind a second visit to this beautiful green house! 😀Palimpsest by Doris Salcedo, Palacio de Cristal

Where? / How to get there?

Nearest subway stop is Retiro. This place is so huge, it is very difficult to miss. It is on the east side of Madrid 😉

Calle de Alcala entrance for Retiro Park
This entrance is adjacent to Puerta de Alcala gate (arc). Entrance can be found at the crossing Calle de Alcala and Calle de Alfonso XII

Camera: Canon 5D mark3, Sony Z3+

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Salut, I am Joyce. 40 something living in Paris. Appreciate little things and share giggles. Prudent, no nonsense reviews. #ExploreLaughRepeat


  1. The Glass Palace looks like it would quite an experience – all that grand space but none of the dark stuffy rooms of stone. Were you making a pun when you wrote: Clearly, I had no idea what I was seeing here. 😆

    • Yes, exactly! and no crowd inside as well because of the entrance control Okay the clearly part 😂😂😂😂 is an unintended pun?

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