El Retiro was already in 1850 a recreation property with orchards, fruit-trees and ornamental species owned by Mr. Luis de Ysasi Lacoste. After his death, his state was donated to the city of Jerez to créate one of the first parks in the city. In 1898, while he still owned the gardens, he invited all teachers in Jerez to a “lunch”, following the conclusion of the First Tree Festival in our city “to push from the start this successful initiative”.
The legacy is passed in late 1902 and the only condition was that this property should be retained for public use as a park. Likewise, the construction of a library was also specified to facilitate the world of culture to the poorest sections of the city. And if there was any failure by the City Council, the said property would pass to its heirs.
Due to its proximity to the then outskirts of the city, it was an ideal place for the citizens’ walk and leisure. It hosted in December 25, 1903, the Feast of the Child, a forerunner of today’s Twelfth Night Procession. “Over 2000 babes enjoyed seeing those trees laden with toys and decorated with exquisite taste by beautiful and elegant ladies”.
The park, which in early times occupied an área much larger than today, is taking shape over
the years. Already in the 1920s it has a magnificent grove.
It is structured around a long straight central promenade in East –West direction, flanked by orange trees, that forms the backbone of the park. On each side, two winding parades pass between the prairies.
At its Eastern end, the parades come together in a playground surrounded by ash trees, pagoda trees and palms. At the other end, an esplanade is also formed where there is a pond and a small mound. The western end of the facility houses part of the municipal nursery.
Among the trees in the park we can highlight the veteran trees : Red horse-chestnut, Weeping Bottlebrush, hawthorn, Narrow-leafed Ash, Ginkgo, Aleppo pine and Spineless yucca. We also find good exemplars of Judas tree, Cypress, Drago, Osage-orange and European barberry.