Location: Huerto de las Monjas, near #7 Calle del Sacramento, Madrid, Spain [MAP]
Designer: Nuns during its convent years, unknown at present.
Project Type: Courtyard, Residential
Completion Date: 1972
Access: By foot down a set of stairs from either #7 Calle del Sacramento or past a set of gates just off of Calle del Rollo.
Established as a productive garden for the Convento del Sacramento in the early seventeenth century, Huerto de las Monjas was a small walled garden used purely for function¹. Vegetables as well as fruit trees were grown here to provide food for the nuns that stayed at the convent. However when the convent was destroyed in 1972 to make way for apartment buildings, business spaces and municipal government buildings, the productive side of the garden was done away with and replaced with purely ornamental features, though a few key characteristics such as the old wall and general layout remain the same².
A pleasant water fountain was added towards the front of the garden depicting cherubs playing with the water that bubbled from the surface, while the simple layout of the garden lends way for a relaxing treat for a meditative stroll or a quiet lunch on the existing benches.
The area is also excellent for providing that bit of rare vegetated shade that gives a sense of coolness to an otherwise hot summer.
This space is a sharp contrast and surprise as the journey to and even down towards the courtyard is nothing but concrete and visually harsh surfaces, nevertheless it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Though the small courtyard garden may be hard to find at first, it is a real treat and joy once discovered, lending to an unforgettable experience for anyone looking for a serene and beautiful garden in the middle of busy Madrid.