Casa de Campo
|Casa de Campo|
|Area||17.23 square kilometres (4,260 acres)|
|Created||1 May 1931|
The Casa de Campo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkasa ðe ˈkampo], for Spanish: Country House) is the largest public park in Madrid. It is situated west of central Madrid, Spain. It gets its name 'Country House' because it was once a royal hunting estate, located just west of the Royal Palace of Madrid. It was created in the early 16th century for use by the royal family and nobility, and was opened to the public in 1931 when it became a public park. Today, it is a popular green space and weekend destination for Madrid residents.
Its area is 1,722.6 hectares (4,257 acres), about five times the size of New York City's Central Park or twice the size of Paris' Bois de Boulogne. The Casa de Campo is linked to the Parque del Oeste by the Teleférico de Madrid, a gondola lift.
The complex was declared in 2010 an Asset of Cultural Interest by the Community of Madrid. For its part, the regulations of the General Urban Planning Plan of the Madrid City Council, of 1997, classify it as a historic park.
An amusement park, the Parque de Atracciones de Madrid, and the Madrid Zoo are located inside the park. It is common for families to spend time in the park, looking at the wildlife that may be seen occasionally seen around the park with deer, rabbits, and different kinds of birds being the most common. The park also contains an artificial lake for recreation.
The trails crisscrossing the park are great for running, walking, and mountain biking. A lot of the less frequented parts of the park showcase Madrid's natural semi-arid beauty with red soil and scruffy pine trees. The altitude is elevated just like the rest of Madrid with quite a few hills inside the park.
The park has had a bad reputation of being a place for prostitutes, most of whom are not Spanish and imported for the sex trade. However, Madrid's chief prosecutor has denied the police authority to enforce a more modest dress code, despite complaints about sex workers wearing little clothing. Due to the park's size, there are still problems but the volume is a lot less with different enforcement measures in place and the rerouting of commuter traffic outside of the park.
Nowadays, the park is mainly visited by families to spend the day, cyclists or hikers, as there are many routes to explore the forest.
Flora and fauna
The natural vegetation of Casa de Campo is mainly holm oak forest, accompanied by mediterranean bushes. However, throughout its history it has undergone constant transformation, even being used as farmland in some periods and repopulated in others with different non-native tree species, mainly stone pines or cypress trees, but also others such as poplars, chestnut trees, plane trees, ash trees, oaks or willows. In 2002, 686,294 specimens (trees or shrubs) were registered in the woodland inventory of the park.
In 2000, 18 trees or groups of them were classified as Singular Trees. They are marked with wooden signs that describe their special characteristics. A 2021 winter storm, Filomena, destroyed at least a tenth of the trees throughout Madrid, and damaged an unknown amount of the park.
Many different species of vertebrates can be found in Casa de Campo: over 140 birds, 21 mammals, 14 reptiles, six amphibians and 6 fish.
The park can be accessed via the Teleferico, a gondola with a pick up point inside the Parque del Oeste on the west end of Madrid. The drop-off point houses a restaurant with an overlook of Madrid, playgrounds (both inside and outside), and access to Casa de Campo's many trails. The park is connected to Madrid's public transit system, including stations on lines 5 and 10 of the Madrid Metro.
- Web oficial de turismo de Madrid. "Casa de Campo". Retrieved 31 May 2019.
- "TPH 2S Rosales – Casa de Campo". remontees-mecaniques.net (in French). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
- Pedro Blasco, La Comunidad declara a la Casa de Campo Bien de Interés Cultural, El Mundo, Madrid, 15 July 2010
- ""Europe's brothel" Spain seeks solutions to prostitution". Khaleej Times. 25 February 2006. Archived from the original on 10 August 2006. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "African Women Being Sold Into European Sex Slavery". Digitaljournal.com. 14 March 2001. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- Tremlett, Giles (28 February 2001). "African women tricked into sex slavery in Spain". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- Boulware, Jack (5 July 2000). "Hookers at the playground". Salon.com. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Madrid Prostitutes Cleared To Dress Down". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. 28 June 2000. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Filomena provoca una catástrofe natural en la Casa de Campo de Madrid". AS.com (in Spanish). 12 January 2021. Retrieved 12 January 2021.