Royal Palace - Royal Palace information and pictures
The Royal Palace
or Palacio Real
is a massive, rectangular royal palace built from 1735 to 1764 by Italian architects Pilippo Juvarra and G. B. Sacchetti. The palace was built after the Alcázar of the Hapsburgs, a former medieval fortress, burned in 1734. With 2,800 rooms, over forty balconies, parade grounds, a plaza and a large landscaped park, the Royal Palace is an immense landmark that should be visited with plenty of time to spare.
The Royal Palace is the official residence of the royal family, although they actually reside outside of Madrid and use the palace only for state functions. Its design was based on the Versailles and was built solely from local limestone and granite to ensure it would not be lost to another fire. A visitor enters the palace through the stunning Plaza Oriente that is lined with white marble statues of former queens.
Fifty Sumptuous Rooms to Visit
- Fifty rooms of the Royal Palace are available for visitors to tour. All of the rooms are a testament to over-the top royal opulence decorated with velvet, silk, tapestries, wall frescoes, priceless art and artifacts. Of particular note is the throne room or Salón del Trono, where Charles III held court that features red velvet walls, elaborate wall frescoes of the Greek gods and "The Greatness of the Spanish Monarchy" by Italian artist, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.
The Gasparini Room is the former dressing room of Charles III designed by artist Matteo Gasparini featuring intricately embroidered silk walls. The Porcelain Room or Sala de Porcelana, adorned with porcelain china from the kilns of the Royal Factory of El Buen Retiro is also not to be missed. The Royal Palace also features art by Masters such as, Velázquez, Caravaggio and Goya, a collection of medieval armor and a cello-violin by Stradivarius.
- The Royal Palace garden, known, as the Jardines de Sabatini is a quiet little oasis located north of the palace at the site of the former stables, with statuary, fountains and beautiful landscaped grounds. A larger park, Campo del Moro, a former royal playground, is situated behind the Royal Palace and features a duck pond, fountains with tritons and statuary.
Changing of the Guard
- For a special treat, visitors can now witness the ceremonial changing of the guard every Wednesday afternoon. A spectacle of 12 guards and 6 horses, change guard from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM in a ceremony filled with pomp and pageantry.
Where is Palacio Real: Calle de Bailén
How to get to Palacio Real: By Subway to Opera station; Line 2,5
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 9AM to 6PM; Sunday from 9AM to 3PM; Wednesday is free for EU citizens
Official web site of the Palacio Real
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