History of Madrid Rio
The park of Madrid Río gets its name due to the river Manzanares. This green area is a wide corridor of more than 10 kilometers long!. The park is located on both banks of the Manzanares River, in the southwestern part of Madrid. The creation of this park implied a huge effort to the city. Works tood from 2006 till 2010 when it was opened. All efforts were widely paid back. Where the park stands today the M-30 ring road (a six-lane motorway) stood in the past. The road still exists, but it is buried underneath the green area. The park was the ambitious project of major Alberto Ruiz Gallardon. It received lots of criticisms at the time it was executed, but today it has implied a revolution in the lives of hundreds of thousands of madriñeños who enjoy this park instead of the polluted air from thousands of cars on a grey city motorway.
What to expect
Madrid Rio is located 15 minutes walk from the Royal Palace and Gran Via street. It offers a free plan for families with children. There are many activities in the park; from riding a bike, skating, taking a guided tour or refreshing at any of its fountains… There is even an artificial beach.
Madrid Rio receives many visitors during the weekends, specially on some of the areas where playgrounds stands. We will share below a plan of Madrid Rio to ensure you can decide which areas to visit and which activities to enjoy.
Where is Madrid Rio?
Madrid Rio is located 15 minutes walk south of the Royal Palace and the Almudena cathedral. The closest metro station is Principe Pio (both metro and train station) At Principe Pio you can also enjoy a small but stylish shopping mall.
One of the top attractions in the Madrid Rio park is its bridges: There are 17 bridges that connect the two banks of the Manzanares River. Some of these bridges were built for the park, whilst others existed before the park was conceived. Amongst the new parks, these ones stand out: Matadero (located by the Matadero cultural center) and Invernadero -their vaults are decorated with mosaics by Daniel Canogar–,the Monumental Bridge of Arganzuela, designed by Dominique Perrault, which links the Paseo de Yeserías and the avenue of the Manzanares.
Some of the pre-existing bridges were rehabilitated, such as the Segovia bridge that has recovered the splendor that Juan de Herrera gave it in the 16th century (Juan de Herrera is the famous architect who was in charge of the construction of the famous El Escorial palace near Madrid) , the Toledo bridge or the Rey bridge. These bridges have been adapted and can be used today by both pedestrians and cyclists. In addition, the old dams add special interest and charm since the small locks retain the water and the way they operate is explained with information on posts.
Plan of Madrid Rio