In the heart of Madrid we find the Royal Palace, a building that has its origin in the ninth century, when the Muslim kingdom of Toledo built a fortress finally used by the kings of Castile.
Indeed, the Royal Palace itself was begun in the sixteenth century in the place where was the old Arab fortress. It was the royal residence from 1764 until King Alfonso XIII abdicated the throne in 1931.
Today the Royal Palace is considered the official residence of the Spanish monarch, Juan Carlos I, despite he not dwell on it. The building has become a point of tourist interest and is used for State Ceremonies.
Rooms occupied by Alfonso and his family are open to the public, as is the throne room, the parlor, the picture gallery (with works of Caravaggio, Velázquez, Goya, Giaquinto, Tiepolo, Mengs, Bayeu or Maella), the Royal Armoury and the pharmacy of the Royal Palace.
The decoration of the Royal Palace of Madrid has adapted to the artistic styles of the moment. From the time of Charles III it’s retained the Throne Room, the King’s Chamber (or Gasparini’s) and the Porcelain Room. We must highlight the Hall of Mirrors from the reign of Charles IV, and the Gala Dining Room of Alfonso XII.
The spectacular gardens that complete the royal palace are known as Campo del Moro, while the square in the East of the Palace is adorned with sculptures of various kings of Spain made during the reign of Ferdinand VI.
The Royal Palace is open to the public every day of the week, so if you are staying at the nearby Be Smart Talavera, we recommend that you book a few hours of your visit to the Spanish capital to take a look.
Creative Commons or Public Domain Image: Flickr/dalbera