The Palacio Real or also known as the “Royal Palace”, is one of the many popular attractions in the city of Madrid. The Palacio Real is the official residence of the King and Queen of Spain, although they do not live at the palace all year round. The King and Queen of Spain generally only use the palace for state events.
The King and Queen of Spain, actually live at “Palacio de la Zarzuela”. This is a much smaller residence which is situated just outside the city of Madrid.
The Palacio Real is the largest palace in Western Europe and is the largest building in Madrid with a floor area of 135,000 square metres and a staggering 2800 rooms. The palace has two hundred and forty balconies, over forty staircasesIt was originally commissioned in 1734 by Felipe V and took over 26 years to build. Up until 1931, the palace was used as the main residence by all the Kings and Queens of Spain.
History Of The Palacio Real
The Royal Palace now stands on the grounds of the old Alcázar (castle), which burnt down on 24 December 1734. Soon after the fire, King Philip V asked for a new palace
to be built on the same location as the Alcázar. He wanted the new Palace to be built with materials that would be fireproof, hence the palace being built from granite and limestone. On 7 April 1736, the first corner stone of the palace was laid. From the first stone being laid until the official opening of the palace, Spain had seen 3 Kings.
Palacio Real Is Open To The Public
The palace is partially open to the public throughout the year and there are currently sixteen rooms to which the public are allowed access. These include the large dining room, the throne room (Salón del Trono), the Royal Armoury, the pharmacy and the china or Porcelain room (Sala de Porcelana). Although there are only sixteen rooms currently open to the public, there is more than enough to see in one day. The sheer size of the palace, it’s rooms, their contents and architecture provides the perfect sight seeing tour.
The Palacio Real is situated on Calle de Bailén next to the Plaza de Oriente square and the nearest Metro station is the “Opera”.