The Royal Palace (Palacio Real)

Picture of Royal Palace, Madrid (Courtesy of

The palace was built between 1738 and 1764. It has a central interior courtyard, whilst another courtyard – the Plaza de Armas on the south side – acts as the principal entrance to the palace. This courtyard looks out on to the Almudena Cathedral. The Palace occupies 13 hectares, has 870 windows, 240 balconies and 44 staircases.

Madrid’s Royal Palace of  is considered by many to be one of the finest palaces in Europe. It is not the official residence of the King of Spain, that is the Zarzuela Palace outside Madrid, though official banquets and other important state events do take place here. As Napoleon remarked to his brother who he made king of Spain, “You will be better lodged here than I am myself”.

The Royal Palace, is built on the site of the old Alcázar which was destroyed by fire on Christmas Eve 1734. King Felipe V decided to build a palace for his Borbon dynasty. The Italian Filippo Juvara was selected to design the new palace and his plans were to create a grand palace along the lines of France’s Versailles, though at a different location in Madrid. Felipe V rejected this and on the death of Juvara his pupil, Juan Bautista Sachetti, took on the scaled down project at the location of the original Alcázar.

Outside the Palace you will find the Sabatini gardens and the Campo del Moro (the field of the Moors) – the latter offering fine views up from the Manzanares river. To the west of the Palace you will find the Plaza de Oriente created under the orders of Napoleon’s brother. These are some of the things that it is well worth seeing inside:
● The Salón de los Alabarderos, with its fresco by Tiépolo
Salón de las Columnas (hall of Columns) with tapestries from the Real Fábrica
Sala del Trono (Throne Room)
Salitas Gasparini which comprise the antechamber, the chamber and dressing room of Carlos III
Sala de porcelanas (Porcelain Room) with walls covered with tiles from the Fábrica del Buen Retiro in Madrid.
Gran comedor de gala (Banquet Hall)
La capilla (Chapel) built by Sachetti y Ventura Rodríguez
La biblioteca (Library) which holds over 300,000 books
La Real Armería (Royal Armoury)
And to cap it all you will find works by Velazquez, Goya, Rubens, El Greco and Caravaggio.

Entrance Price

General: € 7.00.
Reduced: € 5.51
Minimum: € 3.30.

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