Already in the 10th century, the location of the current Royal Palace was recognized by the then Emir of Córdoba, and the location also saw the building of an Alcázar in the 16 century. After that castle burned in the 18th century, king Philips V ordered a new palace to be built on the same spot, which resulted in the current palace, inaugurated by Charles III in 1764. Special precaution was taken not to use any flammable material in it, so as to protect the palace from the fate of the previous castle. It has remained a royal palace ever since; even though the current king of Spain does not live here anymore, the Royal Palace is still used for official gatherings.
Apart from official gatherings, the Royal Palace is a major point of interest for visitors. Within walking distance from the city centre, it proudly sits on the western side of downtown Madrid, in an attractive area. On the east, Plaza de Oriente, with statues of historical kings of Spain, fountains, and a pleasant small park offering some tranquillity in a bustling city. On the north, the Sabatini gardens, meticulously tended gardens, fountains, and the Royal Palace looming high above the visitor. On the southern side, the Almudena Cathedral and views of the enormous Plaza de la Armería, within two wings of the Royal Palace. Finally, on the western side the Royal Palace borders the Campo del Moro, gardens located below the palace.
Walking outside the palace is very pleasant. Apart from the gardens on three sides of the palace, taking a closer look at the impressive building is definitely worth it. The elegance of the columns and high windows, statues looking down on you in a seemingly friendly way, the fine lanterns surrouding the palace, the enormous black and gold fence, and the sheer magnitude of the Royal Palace are all a feast for the eye. Unfortunately, I could not visit the palace, which, apart from luxurious halls and art collections, houses all kinds of precious artifacts. A good reason to come back to this impressive building!
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Royal Palace (Spain). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Royal Palace. Read more about this site.