Royal Palace, Madrid Palacio Real
After the fire which destroyed the old Alcázar of the Habsburgs at Christmas 1724 Philip V commissioned the Italian architect Filippo Juvara (1678-1736) to design a new palace in its place. After Juvara's sudden death work on the plans was continued by his associate Giovanni Battista Sacchetti (1700-64), who simplified the design into a closed square with an inner courtyard and projecting elements at the corners.
Royal Palace Map
Official site: www.patrimonionacional.es
Address: Calle Bailén 2, E-28071 Madrid, Spain
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Sep 30: 9am-6pm; Sun: 9am-3pm
Oct 1 to Mar 31: 9:30am-5pm; Sun: 9am-2pm
Oct 1 to Mar 31: 9:30am-5pm; Sun: 9am-2pm
Always closed on: Madrid Day - Spain (May 2)
Entrance fee: FREE
Useful tips: There are conducted tours of the palace in English, French, German and Spanish. Closed once or twice a week for official functions. Operating hours on public holidays are the same as Sundays.
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Transit: Metro: Opera; Bus: 3, 25, 33, 39, M1, 148.
Royal Palace Highlights
Royal Palace - Apartments of Charles III
The apartments occupied by Charles III are among the finest in the Royal Palace in Madrid. The Saleta (Small Hall) has a ceiling-painting by Anton Raffael Mengs (1728-78), "The Apotheosis of the Emperor Trajan", and the Antecámara de Gasparini has his "Apotheosis of Hercules". Goya's portraits of Charles IV and his queen María Luisa of Parma were painted at the end of the 18th century. There is a noteworthy Empire clock belonging to Charles IV. With its graceful chinoiserie, its intricately patterned marble floor and the carefully matched silk hangings and coverings on the walls and furniture the Salón de Gasparini is a consummate masterpiece of Rococo style.The adjoining Salón de Carlos III is the room in which Charles III died; during his lifetime he made a notable contribution to the townscape of Madrid.The Sala de la Porcelana, its walls faced with porcelain plaques from the royal manufactory of Buen Retiro, is followed by the Sala Amarilla (Yellow Room), with its decoration of yellow silk, and the State Dining Room. The dining room has frescoes by Mengs and his pupils Francisco Bayeu and González Velázquez, and its walls are hung with 16th century Brussels tapestries. Chinese porcelain and Sèvres vases, chandeliers and silver candelabra add to the decorative effect.
Royal Palace - Tapestry Collection
The palace's magnificent collection of tapestries is housed in the former private apartments of Charles IV and his queen María Luisa in the east wing (Rooms 56-64). Among the oldest in the collection are a series "The Triumph of the Mother of God" (c. 490), after cartoons by Quentin Metsys, and Brussels tapestries which belonged to Joan the Mad (1479-1555) and Margaret of Austria (1480-1530). In addition to Flemish and French tapestries there are also fine examples from Madrid workshops and the royal manufactory of Buen Retiro.
Royal Palace - Throne Room
The sumptuous Salón del Trono (Throne Room), with its magnificent frescoes by Tiepolo, its walls clad in red velvet picked out with silver, its valuable tapestries, mirrors, furniture and chandeliers, is still used on great State occasions.The great Venetian painter, Gian Battista Tiepolo, was at the height of his fame when he was summoned to Madrid to decorate the Salón del Trono. The fresco which he painted, "The Greatness of the Spanish Monarchy", is one of his finest works.
Royal Palace - New Museums
In the NW wing of the palace are the "New Museums", installed here in 1962, which bring together in 15 rooms pictures formerly distributed in various parts of the palace. Works by Hieronymus Bosch, Rogier van der Weyden, Caravaggio, Velázquez, El Greco, Goya and other artists give some indication of the richness of the royal picture collection, most of which is now in the Museo del Prado.
Royal Palace - Bourbon Apartments
In the rooms which were occupied until April 14, 1931 by the Bourbon kings Alfonso XII and XIII fine furniture in a variety of styles complements mementos of everyday life - family photographs, Alfonso XIII's telephone and his bed, Queen María Cristano's piano with its decoration of porcelain plaques.
Royal Palace - Chapel
The chapel was built between 1749 and 1757 by the Italian architect Sacchetti and the Spaniard Ventura Rodríguez. The painting in the dome is by Giaquinto, the sculpture by Ginés de Castro and Olivieri.
Royal Palace - Library
The royal library is also richly stocked, with 300,000 books, 4,000 manuscripts, 2,000 drawings and prints, 3,500 maps and 3,000 volumes of music. There are also collections of coins and Stradivarius violins.
Hall of the Halberdiers
The Salòn de los Alabarderos has a fine ceiling-painting by Gian Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770), "The Apotheosis of Aeneas".
Royal Palace - Medal Museum
A wide number of medals dating from the 18th C. are to be found here. They are cast in gold, silver and bronze and include several medals of foreign origin.
Royal Palace - Music Museum
Many musical instruments are on display, of note are two violins, two violas, and a violin-cello by Stradivarius.
Royal Palace - Royal Armory
The Royal Armory has been housed in its present building since 1893. 3,000 exhibits, dating as far back as the 16th C., are on display on two stories.
Royal Palace - Carriage Museum
Royal Palace - Royal Pharmacy
Also of interest in the Royal Palace is the Real Oficina de Farmaciàa.
Map - Royal Palace
Map of Madrid Attractions
More Madrid Attractions