Aranjuez is one of the most beautiful cities in the Madrid County. Its fame started in 1560 when Felipe II decided to build here a new vacations home for him. The majestic royal residence was commissioned to the Court’s architect Juan Bautista de Toledo; later, he was replace by Juan de Herrera whose particular style is palpable in every detail of the palace. The royal complex of Aranjuez is formed by three main elements: the main palace, Casa del Labrador, and the royal gardens. The splendid complex was rewarded by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, in 2001.
The main palace was built in the reign of Felipe II. It constitutes one of the most emblematic constructions of the Spanish Habsburg Dynasty. Inside, the palace’s current decoration is most influenced by 8th-century that belong to the monarchy collections: China porcelains, paintings, marbles, golden lamps, antique furniture, etc. The most popular room are the Porcelain Room and Room of Mirrors, regarding its splendid decoration and design. Today, the visitor can only access to the room in the ground floor group under the name of Museo de la Vida en Palacio – Museum of Palace Life, and several of the private rooms. This visits required previous booking and it is mandatory guided.
Casa del Labrador is a pavilion created to host the King and its court along it hauntings. It was built in neoclassical style and it is consider one of the best pieces of this style architecture in Europe. The Prince Garden is the private garden surrounding the pavilion. It is one of the favorite visit in the complex. The mix between nature, architecture and sculpture are really harmonious. The Apollo fountain, the pool, the classical kiosk and the Chinese kiosk are all manufactured by Juan de Villanueva, one of the most important sculptors of the Spanish baroque. It is said that this garden together with the beautiful Aranjuez villa inspire the famous music piece “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Joaquín Rodrigo.
The Royal barges Museum is located in the Prince Garden. It shows a collections of recreational crafts used by Charles IV and Ferdinand VII during their travels. The incredible garden and forest surrounding the palace are free entrance.
If you want to visit this amazing complex, we recommended you to stay in Be Smart Talavera. This practical 3-stars hotel is located in Talavera de la Reina, a Madrid county city. The strategic location of the hostel allows the guests to enjoy, both, Madrid and its surrounding.