The Royal Palace of Madrid was built in the eighteenth century as a symbol of the new dynasty of Kings that came to Spain, the Bourbons.
The current palace was built over the old fortress designed by the Muslims in the ninth century. The Christian conquest (1085) changed the structure of the palace, which over the years was decorated with countless works of art from Italy, Austria, Flanders and France: sculptures, paintings, marble, lamps, valuable furniture, clocks, etc.
After a disastrous fire in 1734, King Philip V (the first Bourbon King in Spain) decided to build this enormous palace as a symbol of his dinasty and Madrid. Some of the best architects of the time took part in this wonderful project as Filippo Juvarra, Giovanni Battista Sacchetti, Ventura Rodriguez and Sabatini.
The Royal Palace Madrid
The interior of the Royal Palace is absolutely stunning: splendid lamps, tapestries and wonderful porcelain pieces brought from the Royal Porcelain Factory located in Retiro Park. Furthermore all the decoration of this immense Palace (135.000 square metres) was supervised by King Charles III and Charles IV, who was a great clock lover.
Since 1931 the Royal Palace has no tenants. With the proclamation of the Second Republic, Spanish Royal Family went to Rome where they remained for years. In 1975 the dictator Francisco Franco died and the monarchy was restored in Spain. But the Palace would never be inhabited again by the Royal Family who moved to the Zarzuela Palace, located on the outskirts of the city. Today the Royal Palace of Madrid is only used for official ceremonies and gala dinners attended by heads of state and monarchs of other countries.
There are plenty of exciting things to see and do at the Royal Palace and we could spend hours and hours describing all the rooms (over 30 open to the public), so we offer you a brief summary of the most interesting rooms. Unfortunately taking pictures or using cameras and recording devices of any kind is not allowed to be used inside.
This room will leave you speachless. Walls are covered by wonderful deep-red tapestries and mirrors and there is a throne composed by four bronze lions brought to Spain personally by Diego de Velázquez.
It is one of the most impressive rooms of the palace. Its walls and ceiling are covered top to bottom with porcelain plates, creating a indescribable feeling.
Dining Gala Hall
King Alfonso XII and his wife Maria Cristina of Hapsburg renovated this room in 1879, creating one of the most amazing rooms. The table, with more than 80 meters, can accommodate more than 200 guests.
Changing of the Guard Ceremony
First Wednesday of each month the Royal Palace of Madrid is decked out for the Changing of the Guard Ceremony. The performance begins at 12:00 and consists of more than 400 soldiers, 100 horses, vintage carriages and even a music band. A spectacle well worth seeing.
Changing of the Guard Madrid
In front of the Royal Palace we find the Plaza de Oriente, designed by Napoleon’s brother, Joseph Bonaparte, who was ruling Spain from 1808-1813. The statue that dominates this romantic square represents King Philip IV on horseback.
Join our Madrid Free Walking Tour and discover much more about this huge palace which was built to amaze the world.
Address: Calle de Bailen
Opera (Line 5 and Ramal Ópera-Principe Pío)/ Vodafone Sol (Line 1,2,3 and Cercanías RENFE)
Winter (October to March): 10:00 to 18:00 / Summer (April to September): 10:00 to 20:00
General 10€, Reduced (persons between 5 to 16 years old, students under 25 and people over 65 years old) 5 €. Attention:
Free entry from Monday to Thursday from 16:00 to 18:00 (winter) and from 18:00 to 20:00 (summer) for citizens or residents of the European Union and visitors from Latin American countries.