Aranjuez is a city located in the southern region of the Autonomous Community of Madrid in central Spain. It is found 48 km. south of the city of Madrid between the rivers of Tagus and Jarama.
The city of Aranjuez is composed of 8 districts – Centro, Foso, La Montaña, Las Aves, Moreras, Nuevo Aranjuez, Olivas and Vergel. Mayor Jesus Miguel Dionisio Ballesteros of the Socialist Party has been leading Aranjuez since 2003.
In 2001, the city was declared by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Cultural Landscape. Aranjuez is known for its scenic tourist attractions such as the Royal Palace, Tagus River and various landscapes and gardens. Consequently, the tourism plays a vital role in pushing the local economy of Aranjuez. Significant budget is accounted for the beautification of many restaurants and other public structures to attract more tourists. A huge casino was inaugurated in 2005 and the Tagus hospital is expected to open in the first quarter of 2008.
Various personalities, who are well-known for their crafts and status, are associated with the city of Aranjuez. The list includes Francisco de Asis of Bourbon, husband of Queen Isabela II Spain; Francisco Agustin Silvela; Santiago Rusiñol, painter; and football players Juan Luis Mora Palacios, Javier Garcia Portillo, and Ivan Sanchez-Rico Soto aka Riki.
A day or two is not enough to see all the magnificent places in Aranjuez. The House of Employees (Town Hall), Governor’s House, House of Trades and Knights, Medinaceli Palace, and Charles III’s Royal Theatre are just few worth-visiting sites. The most famous and highly regarded as a regal place is the Palacio Real de Aranjuez and the 4 outstanding gardens surrounding the palace.
Palacio Real de Aranjuez
Included as one of the Spanish royal sites, the Palacio Real de Aranjuez is the official residence of the King of Spain. Phillip II commissioned its construction and contracted Juan Bautista de Toledo and Juan de Herrera to design the palace. It was the sovereignty of Ferdinand VI when the fortress was completed. Charles III added 2 wings to it. Palacio Real de Aranjuez has enormous gardens that believed to provide relief to its royal occupants from the drought and dust of the Spanish meseta.
The Palacio Real de Aranjuez is surrounded by the well-known Aranjuez Gardens. The four gardens that constitute this royal site are the Prince’s Garden, Island Garden, Parterre Garden and the Isabela II Garden. They were considered the most stunning during their time. The confluence of the Tajo and Jarama rivers made it an impeccable location. Fountains, pools, statues and pavilions all contribute to the gardens artistic reflection. The amazing design of the gardens is the result of a 2-century workmanship. A great diversity of trees, flowers and vegetables are found in this sanctuary. The Prince’s Garden features a wide variation of trees – several are said to be brought by King Carlos IV from America. Lying within the border of Tajo River, the Island Garden is composed a number of marble and stone fountains featuring mythological characters.