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Unesco adds Madrid’s Paseo del Prado and Retiro Park to heritage list

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image captionMadrid’s Retiro Park has been added to Unesco’s list of World Heritage sites

One of Europe’s most famous streets, the tree-lined Paseo del Prado in the Spanish capital Madrid, has been added to the Unesco World Heritage list – along with the adjoining Retiro Park.

The UN’s cultural organisation said it was in recognition of the key roles both had played in the city’s history.

Paseo del Prado is home to several prestigious buildings, among them the Prado Museum.

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image captionThe Velázquez monument in front of the main entrance to the Prado Museum on the Paseo del Prado

Unesco described the locations as a landscape of arts and sciences.

It said the Paseo featured several prominent structures including squares with historic marble sculptures and fountains such as the Plaza de Cibeles, which it described as “an iconic symbol of the city”.

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image captionThe Monument to Alfonso XII, which was built in 1922, in Retiro Park

In a statement on Sunday, the Spanish government highlighted that the Paseo had been the first street of its kind to be open to all citizens – previously park-like boulevards were only open to the upper classes.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the recognition by Unesco was “deserved”, adding: “Madrid and all of Spain are in luck today.”

One resident of Madrid, Ana Lanchas, said Retiro Park was “the heart of the city”, adding: “I don’t know anyone who comes to Madrid and doesn’t go to the Retiro.”

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image captionMadrid’s historic Puerta de Alcalá, a neo-classical gate near the main entrance to Retiro Park

Becoming a Unesco site can help attract more tourists from around the world.

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