Aranjuez, ES

The city of Aranjuez is located in the south of the Community of Madrid, in a fertile area where nature and human activity have worked in harmony for centuries.

The Cultural Landscape of Aranjuez comprises not only the city of Aranjuez, but also its natural surroundings and environment, bounded by the Tajo and Jarama rivers. The protected property includes the historic city centre as well as the Palace and its ornamental gardens (Prince’s, Island, Parterre, King’s and Isabel II’s); the nearby vegetable gardens and the tree-lined avenues and groves of Legamarejo, Picotajo and El Rebollo. Consequently, the World Heritage zone considers elements of the water, agricultural, leisure, ordered and constructed landscapes.

This landscape is not only valuable for its natural and visual beauty, but also due to the cultural exchanges it has witnessed throughout its history. Since its foundation during the reign of Philip II, the Real Sitio of Aranjuez continued to grow and evolve under the rule of Ferdinand VI, Charles II and Isabel II across the 18th and 19th centuries. The city was one of the main holiday destinations of the Royal Family, who, through periodical visits and accompanied by its royal court of officials, servants, artists and members of the nobility and the clergy turned Aranjuez into an epicentre of cultural development.

In this sense, this area was granted its status as World Heritage Cultural Landscape in 2001 under the following criteria:

  • Aranjuez represents the coming together of diverse cultural influences to create a cultural landscape that had a formative influence on further developments in this field.
  • The complex designed cultural landscape of Aranjuez, derived from a variety of sources, marks a seminal stage in the development of landscape design.

The landscapes of Aranjuez are a remarkable example of the harmonious interaction and cooperation between man and nature, which has resulted in the enrichment of the diversity and beauty of the environment.

Aranjuez World Heritage Presentation