The Royal Palace of Madrid is the Largest in Spain and Europe. The Palace is also the official Royal residence of the Spanish Royal Family. It is located on Bailén Street of downtown Madrid and is used for state ceremonies and official banquets. Moreover, the origin of the palace dates back to the 9th century! The Spanish Palacio Real (Royal Palace) is built on the site of the old Alcázar which was destroyed by fire on Christmas in 1734. Thereafter, King Felipe V decided to build a palace for his Bourbon dynasty on this site. The entire construction is vaulted in stone and brick so that fire couldn’t destroy it again.
Fascinating History of The Royal Palace of Madrid
Although King Felipe VI and the Royal Family resides in the Zarzuela Palace outside of Madrid! Above all, you can visit this magnificent Royal palace from inside for a small admission fee of €11. There are also days when they don’t charge an entry fee. Correspondingly, the palace has 135,000 square metres of floor space and contains 3,418 rooms. The interiors will sweep you off your feet by its opulence and grandeur. Expect to get a glimpse of paintings and frescoes by Caravaggio, Francisco de Goya, Velázquez, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Juan de Flandes, Corrado Giaquinto and Anton Raphael Mengs.
Then again, the Royal Palace has much more to showcase. Don’t forget to get around the Royal Armoury of Madrid, historic porcelain collection, world’s only complete Stradivarius string quintet, ancient watches, silverware etc.
Campo del Moro and Sabatini Gardens
The first improvements at Campo del Moro occurred when King Philip IV built fountains and planted vegetation. The Sabatini Gardens extend to the calle de Bailén and the cuesta de San Vicente. Moreover, the garden follows the symmetrical French design. Although the Garden was designed by architect Fernando García Mercadal, it was named after Francesco Sabatini. Sabatini had designed the royal stables that previously occupied this site. The gardens showcase a large rectangular pond surrounded by fountains and statues of Spanish kings.
Grand Staircase, Royal Library and Pharmacy
The Grand Staircase was built by Sabatini in 1789! This was on request of Charles IV who wanted it moved from its original location. To enumerate, the staircase is composed of a single piece of San Agustin marble. In fact, the four cartouches at the corners depict the elements of water, earth, air and fire. Notably, 2 lions designed by Felipe de Castro and Robert Michel grace the foundation. The beguiling frescoes on the ceiling are by Corrado Giaquinto. Also, you will notice the statue of Charles III both on the ground and the upper floor.
- The Royal Library contains bookshelves from the period of Charles III, Isabel II and Alfonso XII.
- The idiosyncratic collection includes the Book of hours, codex of the time, Bible dedicated to Ferdinand VI by Farinelli, Maps and medals from the Royal Collection.
- Similarly, the book-covers demonstrate binding styles like Rococo in gold with iron lace, romantic, gothic, neoclassical and renaissance motifs.
- The Archives of the Royal Palace contains 20,000 articles. The Royal Pharmacy became a supplement to order the supply of medicines during the reign of Philip II.
- The collection includes jars made by Talavera de la Reina pottery in 18th century and La Granja de San Ildefonso in 19th century.
Royal Armoury, King and Queen’s Apartments and Banqueting Hall
The Royal Armoury of Madrid is one of the best in the world! It houses pieces from as early as the 13th century. The building feature’s tournament pieces made for Charles V and Philip II by the leading armourers of Milan and Augsburg. The Throne Room dates back to 1772 and features Tiepolo’s ceiling fresco and bronze chandeliers imported from Paris in 1846. Furthermore, the Conversation Room contains 4 royal family portraits by Goya. The Musical Instruments Room has a ceiling fresco by Francisco Bayeu depicting Providence and Faculties of Man. The Royal Palace is indeed one of the best tourist attractions in Madrid. An impressive Palace that houses many of Spain’s treasures! The architecture is aesthetic and the gardens are spunky. Take a light stroll and explore this magnanimous palace in your sweet leisure time. The Palace is also on the city tour bus route, definitely worth experiencing.