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Royal Palace Madrid
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Royal Palace of Madrid, or Palacio Real de Madrid in Spanish, is the official residence of the royal family of Spain and the largest and arguably most impressive building in Madrid. Although it is in fact the official royal residence, it is only used for state banquets and ceremonies. The royal family prefers to spend their days in the modern, humble Palacio de la Zarzuela that is located on the outskirts of the city.
Not only is the Royal Palace of Madrid the largest structure in the city, it is also the largest royal palace in all of Western Europe. Located next to the Plaza de Oriente in the west of the historic city center, the palace has more than 2,000 elaborately decorated rooms, of which fifty are open to the public.
HistoryThe Royal Palace of Madrid was built on the site of the former Alcazar, a Moorish fortress that was flattened by a fire on Christmas Eve of 1734. The site, however, had been occupied by the Moors since as early as the 10th century. The medieval Moorish fortress was transformed into a great palace by Kings John II, Charles V, and Philip II, who made it the official residence of the Spanish monarchy.
After the fire, the fortress was rebuilt as a granite palace by King Philip V. The new structure was modeled, if only a little bit, after the Palace of Versailles, where the king had spent a part of his childhood. The building was designed by Filippo Juvarra , the best architect in Europe at the time, and finished by his pupil, Giambattista Sacchetti. Construction began in 1738 and ended 26 years and three kings later. Decoration of all the rooms would take another 100 years.
FeaturesThe palace covers no less than 1,450,000 square feet and consists of more than 2,000 rooms.
The Royal PalaceVisitors enter this magnificent palace via the Plaza de la Armeria. There are about fifty rooms that can be visited, the most notable of which are the 400-square-meter Dining Room, the Throne Room; the Sala de Porcelana, the spectacular Royal Library; and the Royal Pharmacy. Another major highlight is the Royal Armory, located in the west wing of the place and, together with the Imperial Armory of Vienna, is considered to be one of the finest armories in the world.
The interior is decorated with materials such as stucco, Spanish marble and mahogany. The palace also houses a great art collection, including works by Tiepolo, Velazquez; Mengs, Giordano; and de Goya.
Campo del MoroThe Campo del Moro gardens lie to the west of the palace, on the hill that runs down to the Manzanares River. The lawn of the gardens offer an excellent view of the Royal Palace.
Sabatini GardensThe small, but beautiful Sabatini Gardens lie on the northern side of the palace and are built in a symmetrical French style.
Plaza de OrienteThe Plaza de Oriente is located, as its name implies, on the east of the palace. This pretty square is dotted with numerous sculptures and statues of former kings and queens of Spain.
Visiting the Royal Palace of MadridSections of the Royal Palace of Madrid can be visited every day of the year, except on January 1, January 6; May 1, May 15; October 12, November 9; and December 25. It is also closed to the public during the celebration of official acts. Winter opening hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; summer hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The inside of the palace, with its extravagantly beautiful decorations, such as tapestries, ceramics and paintings, is absolutely worth seeing. Nearly 900,000 people visit the palace every year, making it one of the most important and popular museums in Europe.
The full price for a ticket is €10 ($12); the reduced price is €5 ($5.75). Visitors may be able to get in for free, but it is suggested to check if they match one (or more) of the requirements for that – there are several. The Campo del Moro and the Plaza de Oriente can be visited for free.
How to Get ThereLocated in the western part of the historic city center, the Royal Palace of Madrid can easily be reached on foot from anywhere in central Madrid. The Gran Via and the Calle Mayor are two interesting thoroughfares that connect to other landmarks and attractions in the city. The nearest subway station is Opera, which is served by lines M2 and M5. It can also be reached by bus on lines 3, 5, 39, and 148. The nearest train station is Principe Pio, located just north of the palace. The palace’s official address is Calle Bailén 6.
Similar and Nearby LandmarksThe nearest major landmarks are the Plaza de España, the Plaza Mayor, and the Almudena Cathedral. Other beautiful royal palaces in Europe include Frederiksborg Palace, the Royal Palace of Brussels, and Buckingham Palace.
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Author: bramreusen. Last updated: Mar 03, 2015