Palaces, manors and town halls in 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

Palacio de la Merced

The Palacio de la Merced is a historical building in Córdoba. Once home to the convent of La Merced Calzada, it is now home to the Provincial Government of Córdoba, a sovra-municipal services institution of the province of Córdoba. Excavations in the site have revealed the presence of ancient Roman ashlars. Later findings include medieval remains of a baptistery and of a crypt, identified with the Palaeo-Christia ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Ducal Palace of Lerma

Originally the Ducal Palace of Lerma had immense gardens below it, on the banks of the river, with fountains, stately homes and seven chapels, of which one (Cristo) remains. All documents relating to its construction have been conserved. A 17th-century work, building started in 1601 under commission from Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas, Duke of Lerma. Its architect was Francisco de Mora and is it is considered de ...
Founded: 1601 | Location: Lerma, Spain

Laredo Palace

Laredo Palace is a mixture of architectural, sculptural and decorative archetypes and elements, inspired by different styles but dominated by the neo-Mudejar style. The building is a set of rooms, towers and viewpoints, porches, terraces and gardens.Visitors will find rooms inspired by the Alhambra (plasterwork, tiles, coffering), by Pompeian frescos (paintings and painted fabrics) and by the Plateresque tradition, and wi ...
Founded: 1880-1882 | Location: Alcalá de Henares, Spain

Royal Palace of El Pardo

The Royal Palace of El Pardo is a historic building near Madrid, in the present-day district of Fuencarral-El Pardo. It is owned by the Spanish state and administered by the Patrimonio Nacional agency. The palace began as a royal hunting lodge. It became an alternative residence of the kings of Spain until the reign of King Alfonso XII of Spain, who died in the palace in 1885. King Henry III of Castile ordered ...
Founded: 1547-1558 | Location: Fuencarral-El Pardo, Spain

Alcázar Genil

The Alcázar Genil is a Muslim-era palace in the city of Granada. It was originally called al-Qasr al-Sayyid ('the palace of the lord') and is located beside the River Genil outside the Alhambra"s walls. Today, only a pavilion of the palace is preserved. It was built in 1218 or 1219 by Sayyid Ishaq, a member of the Almohad dynasty. In 1237, Muhammad I of the Nasrid dynasty took over Granada and the dynasty ...
Founded: 1218 | Location: Granada, Spain

Royal Palace of Riofrío

The Royal Palace of Riofrío is one of the residences of Spain"s royal family. Situated in the municipality of San Ildefonso, in the province of Segovia, central Spain, the building is set in a wooded deer-park. Queen Elisabeth Farnese was widowed in 1746, her husband King Philip V being succeeded by Ferdinand VI, her step-son. As such, to ensure that Elisabeth would remain away from the court, King Ferdin ...
Founded: 1752-1759 | Location: Segovia, Spain

Doriga Palace

Doriga Palace is an example of a structure built for nobility, half containing a defensive character, and the other half being residential. The original nucleus is a medieval square tower, built in the 14th century, which forms part of the current palace. In the 15 century, a cubic structure was added to the tower. Its present aspect was completed during the early years of the 16th century, centered on the palace section. ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Salas, Spain

Aldealseñor Palace

Aldealseñor medieval palace once belonged to the López de Salcedo family, due to the fact that on the façade you can see their coat of arms. It was built between the 14th and 16th centuries and it has a great tower that stands 26 metres tall. Due to the orientation of the tower, instead of being used as a defensive structure, it seems to have been just a decorative feature of the palace. The spectacular façade has two ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Aldealseñor, Spain

Gobiendes Palace

The Gobiendes Palace was built with a medieval tower in the 15th century, and belonged to the Mitra Ovetense until the time of Philip II, who sold it to Gonzalo Ruiz de Junco. The building was later extended, and today it has two perpendicular wings, with a side chapel.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Colunga, Spain

Palace of Cienfuegos de Peñalba

The Palace of Cienfuegos de Peñalba arises on a hill near Pola de Allande. It was originally built in the 15th century on the site of an ancient fort, but has been refurbished so that the only remaining Gothic elements are on the lowest level. The original owners were in the Ponce lineage, but it passed to the Counts de Luna and in 1515 to the Cienfuegos family lines. Around 1520 Rodrigo González de Cienfuegos, lord of ...
Founded: c. 1520 | Location: Pola de Allande, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Palazzo Colonna

The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.

The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).

With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).

Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.

The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.

The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.