The Royal Estate of Aranjuez

The Cultural Landscape of Aranjuez is the first Cultural Landscape in Spain to be recognised by UNESCO, an exceptional example of the harmony between nature and the work of man. It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2001. The shaping of this cultural landscape began during the reign of Felipe II. Fernando VI, Carlos III and Isabel II also left their mark on Aranjuez.

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It is made up of an extensive territory, the axis of which is the Tagus River. There are three areas of great natural and monumental interest. The best known is the palace core (Palace, Casas de Oficios and Patio de Caballeros, Casa del Labrador) and the royal gardens (Príncipe, Rey, Isla, Parterre, Princesita).


The area of the orchards, tree-lined streets and squares, as well as the hydraulic system that makes this orchard possible, are of great historical interest. They were laid out in the 16th century following Renaissance principles of geometry and perspective. The vast space is the oldest example of large-scale gardening in the world.


The third element of the cultural landscape of Aranjuez is the court city, an 18th-century historic quarter inspired by the classical principles of the ideal city and enlightened hygiene, with grid streets and a drinking water supply. The Royal Theatre, the bullring, the market, the hospital of San Carlos, palaces, hotels and service buildings, churches and convents dot the streets of a cosmopolitan city, to which diplomats, artists and travellers flocked. And in the centre, the Plaza de San Antonio, the largest classical arcaded square in Spain.


The exceptional nature and universality of Aranjuez, recognised by UNESCO, is due first and foremost to the masterpiece status of its town planning, gardens and architecture. But this environment also witnessed scientific, cultural and technological innovation: botany, agricultural science, gastronomy, hydraulic engineering and the railway.

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Primary Sources

CABANES, Francisco Javier de - Memoria... hacer navegable el río Tajo_1829 - AMT ALBA C071.pdf

Memoria que tiene por objeto manifestar la posibilidad y facilidad de hacer navegable el río Tajo desde Aranjuez hasta el Atlántico

Book by Francisco Javier de Cabanes. Madrid, 1829

ALEAS 1081726.pdf

Representación que hace al Rey Nuestro Señor D. Fernando Sétimo, sobre la conservación y restauración del Real Sitio de Aranjuez

Book by Manuel de Aleas. Madrid, 1824

ELR GUIA PINTORESCA Y DESCRIPTIVA DE ARANJUEZ 00079766700.pdf

Guía pintoresco-descriptiva del real sitio de Aranjuez

Guide by D.E de L y R. Madrid, 1884

GAMEZ AGUAS MEDICINALES DE ARANJUEZ.pdf

Ensayo sobre las aguas medicinales de Aranjuez

Essay by Juan Gamez. Madrid 1771

SITIOS REALES GUÍA GMM73811enc.pdf

Plano y guía del viajero en los sitios reales

Guide by Emilio Valverde. Madrid, 1886

guiaaranjuez.francisconard.pdf

Guía de Aranjuez

Guide by Francisco Nard. Madrid, 1851

Publications

  • Se busca en Aranjuez. Jardines que fueron y ya no están.

Magdalena Merlos Romero

MERLOS 2019 CULTURA Y NATURALEZA.pdf
  • Representación plástica y escrita de Aranjuez (España) en el manuscrito de Hieronimus Gundlach

Nova Hispaniae Regnorum Descriptio (1606): La idealización de un real sitio

Magdalena Merlos Romero


MERLOS 2018 GUNDLACH QUINTANA.pdf
  • La imagen festiva de Aranjuez: Los cambiantes escenarios del rey

Magdalena Merlos Romero

REY FESTIVO 2018 Magdalena Merlos.pdf
  • El conocimiento astronómico en el urbanismo de los Austrias: La Puerta del Sol de Madrid y las puertas de Picotajo de Aranjuez.

Josep Adell Argilés, Magdalena Merlos-Romero, Javier Alejo Hernández-Ayllón, Arturo Martínez García


REUSO 2020 MERLOS ADELL.pdf
  • Ingeniería hidráulica, tradición agrícola y gestión del agua durante el reinado de Carlos II: la real acequia del Jarama y los proyectos de Miguel Osorio, Melchor Luzón y José de Zaragoza. Anales del Instituto de estudios madrileños. Tomo LVIII. 2018

Magdalena Merlos Romero


MERLOS 2018 AIEM ACEQUIA JARAMA.pdf
  • Water and Enligtened Techniques: The azuda( waterwheel) of Aranjuez ( Spain)

Magdalena Merlos Romero y Victoria Soto Caba

10.2478_glp-2021-0003.pdf

Map and location