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The legendary elf of El Retiro

By | 8 April, 2020 | 0 comments

Duende Retiro

Madrid is a city full of secrets and hidden corners. El Retiro Park, the city’s green lung, is no exception: here we can feel an almost magical connection to the legends of the past. This is the story of the elf of El Retiro, and once you have read it you will want to rush to Madrid to look for the infamous creature.

Let’s close our eyes and travel back in time to the 18th century. Back then, these gardens were for the private enjoyment of the court, and often king Philip V would stroll through them to relish their refreshing greenery and quietly contemplate its flowers and decorative details like the lake.

It was during that time that rumours about an intruder started to spread. But not just any intruder: a magical intruder. The people who worked in the park started to say an elf was moving the flowers around to make the monarch’s walk look different and unique every day. Some even claimed to have seen it with their own eyes! But they never managed to catch it…

Years later, when the park opened its gates to the public, many young lovers would go to the park and look for the elf. As the legend spread and evolved, people started claiming that whoever spotted the elf would be blessed with a lucky, loving relationship.

There is no proof that anyone ever found this curious character, but in 1985 a little statue by José Noja was erected in its honour. It represents the elf playing the flute while sitting down. It has huge ears, a cheerful look and a funny hat. It is on one of the old bear dens of the Casa de Fieras.

Will you come to El Retiro Park to take a selfie with the elf? If the legend is true and you catch a glimpse of the real one, you will be blessed in all matters amorous for the rest of your life.

 

Categories: Guías Madrid

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