The Crystal Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is an entirely glass and iron-built structure in El Retiro Park, Madrid. It was actually built as a greenhouse in 1887 to showcase flora and fauna as part of an exhibition on the Philippines which was a Spanish colony at the time. Today, its current owner is the Reina Sofía Museum which uses the place for hosting temporary exhibitions.
The Crystal Palace was the first non-industrial building in Spain where iron and glass were used. It also paved the way for several other cast-iron structures in Madrid.
The design of the palace, made by architect Ricardo Velázquez Bosco, was in fact, based on Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace which had been built in Hyde Park (London) for the “Great Exhibition” in 1851. Both buildings show how the Industrial Revolution changed material usage in architecture.