This was very fun to tour the royal palace, and see how the elegant live.
It's a large place with lots to tour.
There was a place in the back that showed all the armor and weapons that former members of the royal family had back in the day.
This is a spectacular Palace and do not miss the opportunity to visit. We chose not to visit and preferred to look around the city centre which was nice. When our tour group gathered for the evening outing we learnt from those who took the Palace tour what a beautiful Palace it is.
After a fire in 1734 Felipe V commissioned a palatial replacement which took 17 years to complete.
The palace was used by the royal family until the abdication of Alfonso XIII in 1931.
Before the Royal Palace was built, arabic sultan Muhammad I. had built a palace Mayrit at the same place in 9. century. From the name Mayrit comes today's name of capital of Spain Madrid. After some centuries (in 18. centrury), the palace was burnt and there was built a new beautiful palace, Palacio Real.
We did not go inside, so didnt have the chance to see the big gorgeous halls and decoration, where the king Juan Carlos I. accepts visits.
The Palace is beautiful and large, gardens, parks around and the biggest cathedral in Madrid - Virgen de la Almudena - belong to the palace.
Our time exploring Madrid on foot was just about at an end, but we did manage a glimpse of the Palacio Real - at 135,000 square meters and with 2800 rooms it is the largest royal palace in Europe (and the largest building in Madrid)! In fact, it is so big that Spain's Royal family does not even live there any more, choosing a smaller palace in another part of the city for their residence.
The Palacio Real sits in the heart of Madrid, on the same location where the Moors had their original Alcázar, until Christian forces finally re-conquered Spain. After the previous palace on this location burned to the ground, construction on the present Palacio Real took place from 1738 to 1755, with King Carlos III finally taking up residence in 1764.
The grounds surrounding the palace are beautiful parks and the palace itself is open to visitors on most days, offering up (according to Wikipedia) "furniture, tapestries, paintings and ceramics as well as other important works of art and frescos by Tiépolo. Velázquez, Goya, Giordano and Mengs are all represented here amongst the dozens of valuable tapestries and paintings, making the palace one of Europe's most important museums and receiving more than 880,000 visitors in 2006." Like the guy hanging onto the gate, all we could do was look from afar before we headed for the nearest Metro station. We were flying out at 6 AM next morning.
Campo del Moro is beautiful park which is bordered with the Royal Palace. It is goes uphill from Rio Manzanares to the Royal Palace. It is very popular site for making pictures for couple who just have married. In the past this park was private playground for the Royal family and today is open for all residents and visitors to Madrid.
It is the largest and one of the most impressive palaces in Europe. It has more than 2000 luxuriously decorated rooms from which 50 are opened to public. Unfortunately it is not allow to make photos of interior. The palace itself contains furniture, tapestries, paintings and ceramic works of art by Velazquez, Goya, Giordano and Mengs....It is open to the public almost hole year except on the days of official ceremonies.
October to March: Monday to Saturday from 9,30am to 5pm, Sundays and holidays, 9am to 2pm
April to September: Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm, Sundays and holidays, 9am to 3pm
Closed for official acts, 1st & 6th January, 1st & 15th May, 12th October, 9th November and 25th December
“O how small a portion of earth will hold us when we are dead, who ambitiously seek after the whole world while we are living.”
— Felipe II (1527-1598)
If Palacio Real had been built in the 16th century the king could have been talking about it. This mid-18th century palace covers more than one million square feet. This is the official residence of King Juan Carlos I; but it is larger than official residence of his cousin Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace. But unlike Elizabeth, who lives at Buckingham Palace, Juan Carlos and his family do not live at the Palacio Real. Spain’s constitutional monarch lives at the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on Madrid’s outskirts; and the Palacio Real is used for state occasions. It is also open for guided tours, in Spanish, and self-guided tours.
The location of the palace has been occupied by a royal residence since the 10th century when a Moorish fortress was built here. What was known as the Old Castle, Antiguo Alcázar, was built on the site in the 16th century; but this burnt to the ground on Christmas Eve 1734. Felipe V order a palace built in stone to replace it. The grand scale and ornate nature of the palace are not surprising. Felipe V was raised at the court of his grandfather, Louis XIV; opulence was in his veins!
The Jardines del Palacio Real or Campo del Moro are situated just below the Palacio Real. A wide diversity of plants are found within the garden. During the 19th century the gardens were once a playground for children of royalty. In 1931 it was opened to the public but then closed again under Franco’s reign. It reopened again in 1983.
Aside from the many wonderful rooms you can visit such as the Throne Room, Hall of Columns, the Gala Dining Room and Royal Chapel to name only a few, there are also a many great treasures you can admire. Some of these are Goya Portraits, Stradivarius Violins, Royal Porcelain and great scenic tapestries.
Palacio Real or the Royal Palace takes up 100,000 square metres and is Western Europe’s largest royal palace. Built between 1738 and 1764, the design was inspired by Bernini after he created the Louvre in Paris. The façade was created by Sacchetti. The Palace is of course the official home to the King of Spain Juan Carlos and his family but that doesn’t mean that they actually live there. Instead they choose to live just outside of Madrid in the Palacio de la Zarzuela which means that a good part of the palace is actually open to the public. On the first Wednesday of the month from October to June at noon you can witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony.
Kim and I had the pleasure of witnessing the change of the guard at Royal Palace Madrid. The performances were held at the front of the palace (Puerta del Principe). The soldiers wore similar to the 20th century uniform (see photo and video). The change of the guard last for about half hour every Wednesday from 1200-1400.
There’s another type of change of the guard ceremony performed on the first Wednesday of the month. It’s call “The Solemn Changing” ceremony at the Plaza de la Armeria, but we didn’t get to see of such event.
I think the change of the guard at Royal Palace is worth it; hey after all it’s free.
The Royal Palace was built during the 18th and 19th century, which replaced the former medieval Alcázar.
The Royal Palace is the official residence for the Royal Family. The impressive grand building has lavish interior full of richness and decorated to the tastes of CharleIII, see for yourself but you can't take photos inside the Palace.
King Juan Carlos of Spain and his Royal Family do not reside at the palace. They live on the outskirt of Madrid. Today the Royal Palace is only use for state ceremonies and part of it is open to general public. Changing of the guard is on every Wednesday.
Entry fee: 6 euros without guide; 10 euros with guide.
Timetable: October - March 09:30 - 17:00;
Sundays and holidays 09:30 – 14:00;
April - September 09:00 - 18:00;
Sundays and holidays 09:30 – 15:00;
I decided to leave my Hop-on Hop-off bus to see the Royal Palace which is the official residence of the Royal Family, but of course they don’t stay there anymore because tourists are the regular residents. The guided tour which can take inside takes about 45 minutes, or you can just walk around on your own. I actually enjoyed walking just around the outside of the palace, with the beautiful gardens and people taking pictures here and there…
Built during the 18th and 19th centuries, this Palace was meant to replace the medieval one which was destroyed by a fire in 1794.
I did the Hop-on Hop-off bus, but you can also reach the palace (Palacio real) throught the following route:
Metro station at Opera - 5 minutes walk to the entrance of the palace,. If coming from the centre, around the Plaza Mayor, follow Calle Mayor directly to the palace: take about 15 minutes.
We headed to the Palacio Real. It is huge - 2800 rooms (you only see about 50). The rooms that are open to the public were magnificent. I loved the throne room, the royal armory and the dining room (which had a table for 140+). The chandeliers were also my favorites – with thousands of crystals hanging from them, I was just glad I didn’t have to clean them. Some of the rooms were just so ornate and tacky – the more tacky, the more I loved them!
There are conducted tours of the palace but I would definitely take the audio guide which allows you to go at your own pace.
(Next door to the Palace is a very pretty church - Almuneda Cathedral. Entrance is outside of the Palace grounds.)
It was the official residence of the King of Spain and the royal family, whom actually reside in the Palacio de la Zarzuela (so bad.. I was hoping to see Felipe de Borbon!).
Even they don't live here, it is still used for state occasions. The palace is owned by the Spanish state and administered by the Patrimonio Nacional agency. The palace is really big! It is the largest royal palace in Western Europe; it has more than 2,800 rooms... :-O
You are able to visit it except when in official use.
Almudena Cathedral is located in front of it as well as Plaza Oriente. Very, very beautiful place. DON'T go from Madrid without visiting it!!