OT: Madrid Rio – Madrid Riverside Park


From the origins of the city, the people of Madrid have gone to the banks of the Manzanares river on their holidays. The prime example of that is the Pradera de San Isidro, a prairie that fills up every year with people dressed in traditional costumes as part of the local festivals. However, in the last few decades, the intense traffic in the area meant that the city started to turn its back to the river and nobody went walking on its banks. Recently, the City Council inverted this trend: it drove the road underground (in a project that was not exempt of controversy, both due to its environmental and financial costs) in order for vegetation to take its place. The result was a new space for leisure, sports and family, which goes from end to end of the city for more than 6 miles, accompanying the banks of the river and bathing the districts of Casa de Campo, Usera, Príncipe Pío, Puerta del Ángel, Latina, Carabanchel and Arganzuela. The route can be done by foot or by bicycle and numerous children’s play areas, basketball courts, football pitches, tennis courts and BMX and skating areas have been set up there. There are even places to play bowls, a tradition deeply rooted in Spanish culture. Madrid Río has also renovated some of the oldest bridges, such as the Puente de la Reina Victoria, Puente del Rey, Puente de Segovia or Puente de Toledo, also creating new ones such as Canogar, Perrault or Pasarela Nube. A total of 33 bridges that link both banks allowing for cars and pedestrians to cross. The project has also made the most of the existence of historical gardens on the banks of the Manzanares river, such as the gardens of Campo del Moro, San Isidro, Arganzuela and Tierno Galván. (Information borrowed from Hotel Puerta de Toledo)

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