Palaces, manors and town halls in Spain

Palace of Charles V

The Palace of Charles V is a Renaissance building located on the top of the hill of the Assabica, inside the Nasrid fortification of the Alhambra. The building has never been a home to a monarch and stood roofless until 1957. The structure was commanded by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, who wished to establish his residence close to the Alhambra palaces. Although the Catholic Monarchs had already altered some rooms of ...
Founded: 1526 | Location: Granada, Spain

Pazo de Raxoi

At the beginning of 1760, Archbishop Rajoy comissioned Lucas Ferro Caaveiro to design the plans to erect a building in Plaza del Obradoiro, to house the Local Council, the prison and the Confessors Seminary. Claims brought by the Hospital Real delayed the work and caused a change in architect and a modification to the extension and height of the building. Finally, the French engineer Charles Lemaur began the work in 1767. ...
Founded: 1767 | Location: Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Royal Palace of Madrid

The Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real de Madrid) is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family at the city of Madrid, but it is only used for state ceremonies. Several rooms in the palace are regularly open to the public except during state functions. The palace is located on the site of a 9th-century Alcázar (Muslim-era fortress), near the town of Magerit, constructed as an outpost by Muhammad I of C ...
Founded: 1738-1755 | Location: Madrid, Spain

Cybele Palace

The Cybele Palace (Palacio de Cibeles) is currently the seat of the City Council, it opened in 1919 as the headquarters of Correos, the Spanish postal and telecommunications service. It was designed by Antonio Palacios and Joaquín Otamendi. Like the eighteenth century fountain in front of it, the palace has become an emblematic monument of the city.  
Founded: 1907 | Location: Madrid, Spain

Royal Palace of La Almudaina

The Royal Palace of La Almudaina, Spanish Palacio Real de La Almudaina, is the Alcázar (fortified palace) of Palma, the capital city of the Island of Majorca, Spain. Built as an Arabian Fort, the crown claimed it as official royal residence in the early 14th century. Inside are many empty rooms, however, when King James II began restoration, his design plan included the encompassing of the small, romanesque Chap ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Palma, Spain

Generalife

The Palacio de Generalife was the summer palace and country estate of the Nasrid rulers of the Emirate of Granada. The palace and gardens were built during the reign of Muhammed II (1273-1302), Sultan of Granada, and later by Muhammed III (1302–1309). They were redecorated shortly after by Abu I-Walid Isma"il (1313–1324). Much of the garden is a recent reconstruction of dubious authenticity. The complex consists ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Granada, Spain

Guzmanes Palace

The current headquarters of the the provincial government is one of the most beautiful palaces in the León. The Palacio de los Guzmanes construction took place between 1559 and 1572 in the lands where the old city wall used to stand. The construction work was never finished and the palace deteriorated until i tended up abandoned. In 1882 it was purchased by the provincial government  for its recovery, and since then, a ...
Founded: 1559-1572 | Location: León, Spain

Casa Botines

The Casa Botines (built 1891-1892) is a Modernist building in León, designed by Antoni Gaudí. It was adapted to serve as the headquarters of Caja España, a local savings bank. While Gaudí was finishing the construction of the Episcopal Palace of Astorga, his friend and patron, Eusebi Güell recommended that he build a house in the center of León. Simón Fernández and Mariano Andrés, the owners of a com ...
Founded: 1891-1892 | Location: León, Spain

Casa Consistorial de Sevilla

The Casa consistorial de Sevilla is a Plateresque-style building in Plaza Nueva, currently home of the city"s government. The work begin under architect Diego de Riaño, who directed the work between 1527 and his death in 1534. He was commissioned to construct a stone building, durable and with a façade to the Plaza Mayor in front of the convent of San Francisco. He executed what is now the southern section of the ...
Founded: 1527 | Location: Seville, Spain

Casa de las Conchas

The Casa de las Conchas is a historical building in Salamanca. It currently houses a public library. It was built from 1493 to 1517 by Rodrigo Arias de Maldonado, a knight of the Order of Santiago de Compostela and a professor in the University of Salamanca. Its most peculiar feature is the façade, mixing late Gothic and Plateresque style, decorated with more than 300 shells, symbol of the order of Santiago, as ...
Founded: 1493-1517 | Location: Salamanca, Spain

Palace of the Countess of Lebrija

The Lebrija Palace or Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija is a house-museum in central Seville. Dating to the 16th century and remodeled between the 18th and 20th centuries, the palace is characterised by its collection of art, including Roman mosaics and other antiquities as well as Asian art, paintings by European masters and European decorative arts. The interior of the palace is decorated in a palette of architectural s ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Seville, Spain

Casa de Pilatos

La Casa de Pilatos (Pilate"s House) serves as the permanent residence of the Dukes of Medinaceli. It is an example of an Italian Renaissance building with Mudéjar elements and decorations. This beautiful mansion is one of central Seville’s hidden treasures, and its exquisite gardens, though smaller in scale, match anything you’ll see in the Alcázar. The construction, which is adorned with precious azulejo tile ...
Founded: 1483 | Location: Seville, Spain

Fuensalida Palace

The Palace of Fuensalida was built at the end of the first half of the 15th century by Pedro López de Ayala, the first lord of Fuensalida, is the best palace exponent of the Toledan Mudéjar, a historical typology that is scarce in Toledo built heritage, where merge three styles: Gothic, Plateresque and Mudéjar. It is integrated in a big block, which also includes the Taller del Moro and the Iglesia de Santo Tomé, w ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Toledo, Spain

Episcopal Palace

The Episcopal Palace of Astorga is a building by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí. It was built between 1889 and 1913. Designed in the Catalan Modernisme style, it is one of only three buildings by Gaudi outside Catalonia. When the original Episcopal Palace was destroyed by a fire in the 19th century, Bishop Grau decided to assign the design of the new building to his friend Antoni Gaudí. The two had become frie ...
Founded: 1889-1913 | Location: Astorga, Spain

Royal Palace of Aranjuez

Palacio Real de Aranjuez is a former Spanish royal residence. It was established around the time Philip II of Spain moved the capital from Toledo to Madrid. Aranjuez became one of four seasonal seats of government, occupied during the springtime (from about holy week). Thereafter, the court moved successively to Rascafría, El Escorial and wintered in Madrid. Aranjuez Cultural Landscape is an UNESCO World Heritag ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Aranjuez, Spain

Palacio de Viana

Palacio de Viana was established as the family estate in 1492 by Gómez Suárez de Figuroea. He died childless and was succeeded by his nephew. The original house has experienced numerous alterations up to our days, of which we can highlight the extension in the 17th century, which gave it its current appearance to a great extent. The palace covers a surface of more than 6,500 square metres, of which almost 4,000 of them ...
Founded: 1492 | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Royal Palace of Valladolid

The Royal Palace of Valladolid was the official residence of the Kings of Spain during the period in which the Royal Court had its seat in Valladolid between 1601 and 1606, and a temporary residence of the Spanish Monarchs from Charles I to Isabella II, as well as of Napoleon during the War of the Independence. Currently is the headquarters of the 4th General Sub-inspection of the Army. Despite the fact that ki ...
Founded: 1601 | Location: Valladolid, Spain

Palacio de las Dueñas

Palacio de las Dueñas (Palace of the Dukes of Alba) currently belongs to the House of Alba. It was built in the late 15th century in the Renaissance style with Gothic and Moorish influences. The palace is one of the major historic homes in the city of great architectural and artistic heritage. Today it is one of the most visited monuments in Seville. The palace consists of a series of courtyards and buildings. The style ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Seville, Spain

La Granja de San Ildefonso Palace

The Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, known as La Granja, is an early 18th-century palace located in the hills near Segovia.  The site was purchased from the monks in 1719 by King Philip V, after his summer palace nearby at Valsaín burned down. Beginning in 1721, Philip began building a new palace and gardens modeled on Versailles, built by his grandfather, Louis XIV of France. Like Versailles it embrac ...
Founded: 1721 | Location: Segovia, Spain

Palacio de San Telmo

The Palace of San Telmo is today the seat of the presidency of the Andalusian Autonomous Government. Construction of the building began in 1682 outside the walls of the city, on property belonging to the Tribunal of the Holy Office, the institution responsible for the Spanish Inquisition. It was originally constructed as the seat of the University of Navigators (Universidad de Mareantes), a school to educate orphane ...
Founded: 1682 | Location: Seville, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Luxembourg Palace

The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.

The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.

In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.

During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.

Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.

The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.

During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.