There are over two million square metres of green areas and gardens in Guadalajara. This makes it one of the European cities with the greatest number of green areas per inhabitant: areas for walking and areas to rest and enjoy, which enhance the quality of life of townsfolk and visitors alike.
Concordia Park, right in the heart of town, is without any doubt the most emblematic and popular park in Guadalajara. Because of its size and location, it has become an ideal spot for hosting celebrations and different artistic events. One of its finest features is the bandstand, with its polygonal brick base and iron upper structure. It was designed by the architect Francisco Checa in 1915 and is located in the centre of the park, highlighting its community and friendly character.
We leave Concordia Park by the pedestrian San Roque Street, from here we access another of the city’s best-loved and appreciated parks, San Roque Park; the park of the children or the “ducklings’ park”, as it is popularly known. In this park, almost a botanical garden, the height and variety of the trees, especially of the Aleppo pines.
On the right side of the park, across the street, you will find the main entrance of the Mausoleum of the Countess of La Vega del Pozo. Here we meet and can enjoy the Adoratrices Park, opened as a park in 2009. It is remarkable for its artistic enclosure, including the four pillars that mark its entrance, the work of the famous architect Ricardo Velázquez Bosco in 1908, and designated a Cultural Interest Site.
One of the city’s more recent parks is Aguas Vivas Park, built by the workshop school of Guadalajara. Other parks of interest that dot the city map of Guadalajara are La Amistad (Friendship Park), named to mark the twinning of the capital of Guadalajara with the French city of Roanne; also the reconstructed Alamín Linear Park, that joins the old city with recent urban expansion; La Huerta de San Antonio Park, with its beautiful garden of Arabic structure that houses both the Tower of Alvar Fáñez and the Tourism Municipal Management Office.
On the Pedro Sanz Vázquez Avenue and alongside the River Henares, lies the River Park which houses the Municipal Zoo. The zoo, almost eleven hectares in size, is remarkable for the wide variety of plants and trees, -over two hundred in all an authentic green lung for the city, and an area of great botanical interest-. It offers excellent refuge and home to over forty species of birds that chose this area to winter and reproduce in the wild. This is the case of the colony of cattle egret and night heron, unique in the province of Guadalajara.
The zoo, which is specialized in European fauna, was opened in 1985, and is a founding member of AIZA – Iberian Association of Zoos and Aquariums-. Its main objective is the conservation of the wild fauna and biodiversity. There is a Wildlife Recovery Centre. It is one of the few zoos in the world to have this type of service within its grounds. Every year hundreds of animals, nursed back to health, are returned to their habitats, thus contributing to the preservation of wildlife populations.
Special mention should be made of the environmental workshop, which can be found in the new habitats’ section of the zoo. Inside, several interactive panels, audiovisuals and displays, help visitors to understand and value the importance of such wildlife recovery centres and the education work that modern zoos are committed to. The visitor can also view an exhibition of birds’ nests and falconry equipment.
The zoo has a cafeteria-restaurant, as well as rest and recreation areas equipped with picnic tables and children’s play areas.