One of the many formal gardens encircling Madrid’s magnificent Royal Oriente Palace, the Sabatini Gardens, or Les Jardines de Sabatini, lie on the northern border of the palace grounds. Named in honor of the renowned 18th-century Italian architect, Francesco Sabatini, who designed the former royal stables that once stood on the plot, the gardens were opened to the public in 1978 by King Juan Carlos I and drew wide acclaim for their innovative Neoclassic style. Set around a monumental pond and fountain, the Sabatini Gardens feature a maze of sculpted hedges fashioned into elaborate geometrical patterns that look even more impressive from overhead.
The idyllic gardens are a popular spot for locals and tourists to relax, with plenty of shaded picnic spots tucked beneath the many pine and cypress trees. One of the most notable features are the fantastic views of the palace, accessed by a grand stone staircase at the foot of the garden. From across the central pond, the rear of palace is a picture of perfect symmetry, dramatically framed by trees and casting shimmering reflections on the water.
One of the most atmospheric times to visit is during the summer Los Veranos de la Villa festival, when the Sabatini Gardens and the Casa de Campo park host a series of open-air music concerts, theater, cinema showings and Flamenco performances.