The symbol of the grandeur of Spanish Crown over the centuries
Madrid Royal Palace – or Oriente Palace from the name of the square in front – stands on the site of the ancient Alcazar, the fortress built in the 9th century by Emir Mohamed I during the Arab domination of the Iberian Peninsula.
The Palace assumes its current form after the reconstruction due to the fire that destroyed almost everything in 1734. The project was entrusted by King Philip V of Bourbon to the Italian architect Filippo Juvarra who, in turn, was inspired by some drawings made for the Crown of French by the Baroque Italian artist Gianlorenzo Bernini. Indeed, the grandeur of the Royal Palace of Madrid tries to reproduce the Louvre Palace of Paris.
Main rooms of Madrid Royal Palace
There are over 3000 rooms in the Palace, a way to represent at first sight the grandeur and power of the Spanish Royal House. Examples of this are the main staircase, the Throne Room with frescoes by Tiepolo, the Guard Room, the Armory, the Royal Pharmacy. Not last, the Royal Chapel which houses a collection of stringed instruments made by Antonio Stradivari, the most famous Italian luthierof all times. Among the most interesting rooms of the Royal Palace stands the Kitchen, a perfectly preserved and impressive example of a “Royal Kitchen” for the size and the richness of the accessories. The Gallery contains 18th century paintings and frescoes by Corrado Giaquinto, Giovan Battista Tiepolo and Rafael Mengs.
Useful tips to visit Madrid Royal Palace
Undoubtedly, Madrid Royal Palace is a building of great interest, both historical and artistic. However, consider that a visit of the Palace – for quick and superficial that it may be – lasts at least two hours. If you want to take advantage of the free visit which starts at 4 pm from Monday to Thursday, it is a good idea to queue up early, in order to have the time to admire all the rooms.
Our itinerary through the Royal Palace
Our advice is to go immediately to the Royal Armory, at the end of the courtyard and outside the tour route: it is an impressive room where the armor of horses and knights are kept, including those worn by the Emperor Charles V. Once that you have seen the Royal Armory, re-enter the traditional tour itinerary. In our opinion, the most evocative rooms are the Official Banquet Rooms and the Chinese Cabinets that have no comparison in other royal palaces in Europe, so don’t miss them! If you are in Madrid on the first Wednesday of the month, it is worth attending the “Solemn Changing of the Royal Guard“.
The sourroundings of Madrid Royal Palace
Do not miss the surroundings of the Royal Palace, as they are one of the most monumental and impressive areas of the city: on the left stands the great Cathedral of la Almudena and a little further on the Park of las Vistillas, while on the right of the Palace you will find the delightful Sabatini Gardens. Behind the Palace stands the large garden of Campo del Moro and a little further the suggestive Temple of Debod, one of the best spot from where to admire the sunset in Madrid.
Armeria Square (Plaza de la Armeria)
Monday – Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm (from April to September) and from 10 am to 6 pm dutìring the rest of the year
Free entrance: always with Madrid Card; 18 May, 12 October and everyday from Monday to Thursday during the last two opening hours
How to get to Madrid Royal Palace:
Underground: Ópera, Lines 5 e 2
Bus: 3, 25, 39 and 148