Royal Palace of Madrid

Madrid, Spain

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 Córdoba and inherited after 1036 by the independent Moorish Taifa of Toledo. After Madrid fell to King Alfonso VI of Castile in 1083, the edifice was only rarely used by the kings of Castile. In 1329, King Alfonso XI of Castile convened the cortes of Madrid for the first time. King Felipe II moved his court to Madrid in 1561.

The old Alcázar was built on the location in the 16th century. After it burned 24 December 1734, King Felipe V ordered a new palace built on the same site. Construction spanned the years 1738 to 1755 and followed a Berniniesque design by Filippo Juvarra and Giovanni Battista Sacchetti in cooperation with Ventura Rodríguez, Francesco Sabatini, and Martín Sarmiento. King Carlos III first occupied the new palace in 1764.

The last monarch who lived continuously in the palace was King Alfonso XIII, although Manuel Azaña, president of the Second Republic, also inhabited it, making him the last head of state to do so.

The palace has 135,000 square metres of floor space and contains 3,418 rooms. It is the largest royal palace in Europe by floor area. The interior of the palace is notable for its wealth of art and the use of many types of fine materials in the construction and the decoration of its rooms. These include paintings by artists such as Caravaggio, Francisco de Goya, and Velázquez, and frescoes by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Juan de Flandes, Corrado Giaquinto, and Anton Raphael Mengs. Other collections of great historical and artistic importance preserved in the building include the Royal Armoury of Madrid, porcelain, watches, furniture, silverware, and the world's only complete Stradivarius string quintet.



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Founded: 1738-1755
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Spain


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Raihan Jamil (17 months ago)
Must See Place in Madrid. I visited this place on April 7 2019 with my wife and toddler. We just LOVED it! The rooms that you can visit are amazing, especially the ceilings’ art works. The whole courtyard is huge and full of pigeons that my daughter enjoyed chasing. The armory is great! Crazy stuff. We just did not know we had to buy extra ticket to visit the kitchen :( So that was sad. After two hours of the self guided tour, we did not feel like going out, buying another ticket, and coming back in to see the kitchen. So one star less. No pics are allowed inside the palace rooms. Otherwise I would have posted 100! Amazing stuff. Easily the best attraction in Madrid. Tip: Buy your ticket online. Always a HUGE line for tickets at the palace.
suma jaini (18 months ago)
Amazing rooms! So much grandeur. It looks ok from outside but some of the rooms are out of the world. We took a guide to escape lines and we thought it was boring. If u can buy tickets online and wait in the line for a bit, totally worth the price and good for a quick visit.
Phillip Pirrip (18 months ago)
First bit of advice, take a little extra time and effort to find the correct queue for waiting to get into the palace. It's not well defined when the lines get long and the staff isn't very proactive in managing and assisting people outside. Second, purchase tickets online in advance as that queue moves a little faster. The palace grounds, architecture, art, furnishings and history are simply amazing. After entering the main hall no photos are allowed, but that's were the tour does the palace most justice, so the images I'm able to share are just a brief glimpse. Worth visiting if you are in Madrid.
Karine B (18 months ago)
This is really nice palace. It is supposed to be larger than any other palace in Europe if I understood my English speaking guide but it doesn’t feel that way in my opinion. You can’t take photos inside so I am sorry I can’t show you all so you will have to see it for yourselves but it is worth it. The rooms are really nice and elegantly decorated. You can feel the power.
Umar Mukhtar (19 months ago)
Its such a great palace, with so much regal elegance and magnificent interiors. This is the biggest palace in Western Europe, even bigger than the Palace of Versailles. This palace far surpassed my expectations. Each royal room is like a gem. They build up your excitement, as rooms get better and better as you progress inside the palace. Its a pity we cannot take pictures of those magnificent rooms. The Royal Kitchen is also a nice place to see, with entry only allowed through a guided tour. The palace has amazing gardens, which are free to visit. Highly recommended !
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