Royal Palace, Madrid

4.5 out of 5 stars 118 Reviews

Former King's Residence

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  • Royal Palace
    by JuliaMac
  • Royal Palace
    by JuliaMac
  • Royal Palace
    by JuliaMac
  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    a huge palace and a nice square

    by mindcrime Updated Sep 2, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I don’t like to visit palaces so much for many reasons. Two of them are that they always been built to impress and they are symbols of monarchy etc From the other side I wanted to walk till here –not far from the center anyway- and explore the nearby gardens and see the huge Royal Palace that has almost 3000 rooms!! The palace is now officially a museum and no longer the royal residence but some times some official ceremonies take place there. The palace was built on 1738 on the site that was an old castle (it burned on 1734)

    There is an entrance free except Wednesdays but I’ve been told that there is no tour guide on Wednesday.

    I enjoyed walking at the surrounded area of the palace. Plaza de Oriente is located at the east(orienta) side of the palace. It was formerly the site of a theater but then the royal theatre replaced it. Now, you can see a nice fountain and a big statue of Philip IV that was erected in 1850. If you like monarchs you can see many statues of them at the plaza. They were supposed to decorate the rooftop of the palace but they were too heavy to be placed there!

    palacio Real from plaza de Oriente Philip IV statue at plaza de Oriente plaza de Oriente palacio Real Palacio Real from a distance
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  • traceyspacey's Profile Photo

    Palacios Reales- a lot of history

    by traceyspacey Written Aug 13, 2008

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    It is the official residence of the King of Spain, but it is rarely used. Only on special occasions. It has 2800-3000 rooms (depending upon where you read about it). The origins of the palace go back to the 9th century, when the Islamic Kingdom of Toledo build a fort here. It was later used by the Kings of Castille. It was on this site that the old Alcazhar (Royal Palace) was built in the 16th Century.

    It was destroyed by a fire on Christmas Eve in 1734. King Philip V wanted it to be rebuild without any wood so that it could not be burned down again. It is a late Baroque palace built almost entirely of granite and colmenor stone. King Charles III took up residence in 1764 after taking 17 years to be rebuilt.

    Only a selection of rooms are available to the public (around 50 rooms). You can see paintings by Goya and Velazquez. One of the highlights here is the Real Armeria (Royal Armoury), it has a collection of ceremonial armour. Suits of armour worn by El Cid and his horse. Another highlight is the Real Farmacia (Royal Pharmacy), this is one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe.

    When official receptions/ceremonies are on, the palace is closed. So check before you go.

    Every first Wednesday of the month the Royal Guard changes in the courtyard at noon. Ticket prices are up to 11 euros (which covers everything). It is open for free on a Wednesday to EU citizens ( I believe).

    I didn't go inside on my visit this time as I have been before.

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    Learn About the History of the Palace

    by DanielF Updated Jul 22, 2008

    The earliest origins of the Royal Palace are to be found in a small fortress built by the Arabs in the Early Middle Ages. This Alcázar was chosen by the Habsburgs as their main residence in Madrid and grew according to the austere and pious likings of that’s royal family. Soon after the Bourbons acceded to the Spanish throne in the 18th century, the Alcázar was ravaged by a big fire. That was in benefit of the new king, Philip V, who used to the splendour of Versailles, was having a hard time in adapting to the darkness of his new Madrileño palace.

    A totally new palace was built from the ashes of the old alcazar, following the fashion of the French absolutist monarchy. The new building was completely made of stone, in order to prevent future fires, and was not finished until the reign of Charles III. The best architects from throughout Europe were brought to Madrid for the construction of the palace. Among them, the architects Juvara, Sachetti, Ventura Rodríguez and Sabatini are the most outstanding. Every monarch made his own contribution to the palace, commissioning works to the best artists of their time, including Tiepolo, who painted several fabulous frescoes, Goya, Rubens and many others.

    The Hall of Columns The Throne Hall
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    Explore the Interior of the Palace

    by DanielF Updated Jun 30, 2008

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    The interior of the palace is opulently decorated with masterworks by numerous Spanish and Italian artists. Antique furniture, gaudy decorations, stuccos, china, golden clocks, mirrors, oriental fantasies, Murano lamps... anything you imagine that belongs in a real royal palace is there in excess, contributing to the true Rococo delirium that the overall atmosphere conveys.

    You can start your tour with a visit of the Royal Pharmacy, placed in one of the annexes of the building. It hosts an impressive collection of pottery, crystal and amazing remedies used in past centuries to heal the ailments of the Court.

    Other highlights of the palace include the exuberant Throne hall, the majestic Hall of Columns, the Royal Armoury and the Stradivarius Room, which hosts one of the finest collections in the world of those stringed instruments.

    Gala Dinner Hall
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    Admire the Palace Façade

    by DanielF Updated May 29, 2008

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    The Royal Palace is located on the western edge of the plateau where the old city stands. It enjoys, therefore, commanding vistas over the verdant Campo del Moro Gardens and the outlying Casa de Campo, a former hunting ground of the monarchs where even bears were common until well into the 19th century.

    The longest façade of the palace overlooks Bailén Street and Orient Place. It is also there that you find the main entrance to the palace through the so-called Arms Courtyard (Patio de la Armería). This ceremonial courtyard opens to the most monumental of the façades and faces the pastiche-ish Almudena cathedral, creating one of the most attractive (in an impressive, un-cosy way) squares in Madrid.

    The intense traffic of Bailén Street runs now through an underground tunnel, which makes the palace much more accessible from Orient Square. During the construction of this tunnel, the only remains of the Arab wall of the city were discovered. (Most of these rests were destroyed, but the little part that was preserved can be visited in the underground parking).

    On the Bailen façade, you can see the famous balcony that was used by the royals and, particularly, by the former fascist dictator Franco to greet the crowds that rallied at Orient Place to support his regime.

    North Facade
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    Take a Stroll in the "Field of the Moor" Gardens

    by DanielF Updated May 23, 2008

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    The so-called Campo del Moro Gardens existed already by the time of Philip II, but their present appearance dates back to the 19th century. It is a long walk from the main entrance of the Palace, but definitely worth it, as they provide one of the most attractive perspectives of the palace, particularly in the late afternoon.

    The Carriage museum is also located in this part of the gardens and displays a magnificent collection of historical royal carriages.

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  • Palacio Real

    by GibJoe Written Apr 9, 2008

    This palace was constructed between 1738 and 1745 on the site of a former palace which was destroyed by a fire in 1734. Carlos III made this palace his residence. It is the official residence of the King of Spain, even though he does not live in this palace it is used for official ceremonies and ceremonies.

    Plaza de la Armer��a
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  • seasonedveteran's Profile Photo

    Rivals the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul!

    by seasonedveteran Written Mar 16, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Even if you dont normally do these tourist things, do this one! It is amazing inside! So beautiful. The sheer size of it form the outside is probably where it is the most impressive.
    They dont let you take pictures inside, and are very strict.
    But see the ones i had included. The oppulance is among the most impressive anywhere! The spanish royal family still live here? Spain must have been one the richest imperial powers, cuz this place is very very big.

    PS: there is a open garden park behind the palace. It has an excellent broad view of the palace, and some wonderful shade and pond. Go there after the palace tour, before hitting the city hard again! Madrid is beautiful. the buildings, the parks, the people

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  • Urzu's Profile Photo

    Royalty in Madrid

    by Urzu Updated Jan 12, 2008

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not very far from the very center of Madrid you can find the Royal Palace. It's quite nice to see the outside, with the Almudena Cathedral next to it and opposite to the Royal Theatre. You can also go inside a take a look at it but I have never done this, so sorry, can't tell you what it's like!! In any case it's nice to see the outside and to take a look at the gardens!

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  • MM212's Profile Photo

    Palacio Real

    by MM212 Updated Nov 27, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    El Palacio Real is Madrid's sumptuous royal palace. It was built in the 18th century on the site of the original Moorish alcázar which served as the royal residence after the conquest of Madrid from the Moors. The alcázar itself underwent some transformations before a fire destroyed it in the early 18th century. Following the fire, the Bourbon King Felipe V ordered the construction of el Palacio Real with splendour matching that of Versailles. While no longer serving as the royal residence, el Palacio Real is a symbol of the monarchy and is open to visitors as a museum. Much like other European royal palaces, el Palacio Real is filled with beautifully decorated rooms. Photography is not permitted inside the palace.

    El Palacio Real - November 2007 Palacio Real (April 2006)
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  • marielexoteria's Profile Photo

    Palacio Real

    by marielexoteria Updated Sep 26, 2007

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    The Royal Palace is the official residence of the royal Spanish family although they don't live there and was built over a fortress that burned down in 1734. It's big and quite impressive from the outside. When we were there it was already closed for the public so I'll add getting into the palace on my next visit.

    It can be seen from the Madrid Railway :)

    From the main entrance From Plaza del Oriente
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  • nhcram's Profile Photo

    A picture- day or night

    by nhcram Written Aug 14, 2007

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    This must be photographed so many times a day. We came here during the evening and people were setting up tripods to take that special shot at night. (just like me!)
    The Royal Palace in Madrid is actually used (but not owned) by the king of Spain for state ceremonial activities. It was built on the site of a former alcazar that burned down in 1734. If you visit today you will only get to see 50 of its 2800 rooms. The entrance is not easy to find. It is on the south side of the building.

    Palacio Real

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  • barbskie's Profile Photo

    Palacio Real

    by barbskie Updated Jul 24, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    An impressive building at the Plaza de Oriente and in front of the famous Almudena Cathedral. It stands on a ridge above the Manzanares River and Campo del Moro Park. The palace is no longer occupied but used for state occasions. it was last used as a royal residence in 1931. It is always interesting to see and know a bit on how the royals have lived and how they received their visitors. Unluckily, again no pictures allowed during the tour in the palace interior. We paid 8 Euros for the entrance fee (Adult price).

    Plaza de Armeria Terrace viewing Campo del Moro
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  • krissyM's Profile Photo

    Turn base metal into gold

    by krissyM Written Jun 20, 2007

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    The Royal Palace in Madrid is one the biggest in Europe with the most number of rooms. The entrace fee and guided tour was nominal. But unfortuneately they only take you through a small fraction of the rooms in the palace. Make you you don't miss the alchemist den. Being a chemist by trade it was first on the list of things to see there and you can see all the flasks and chemicals that they used to try and turn base metal into gold.

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  • leplaya's Profile Photo

    Palacio Real

    by leplaya Written May 13, 2007

    It looks amazing from the outside, but because it’s a royal palace, it was closed the day we visited. Even if it’s closed you could get a view of the courtyard through the fences. In a way, it looks much nicer when there’s no one on the grounds.

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