History & Facts of Royal Palace of Madrid

The Royal Palace of Madrid, or Palacio Real de Madrid, is one of the most important landmarks of the Spanish capital, and one of the largest royal palaces in Europe. It is located in the heart of the city, on the east side of the Plaza de Oriente, next to the picturesque Sabatini Gardens and the Cathedral of Almudena. In this article, we will explore the Royal Palace of Madride history and facts of this magnificent building, which is a must-visit for anyone interested in Spanish history and culture.


The origins of the Royal Palace of Madrid can be traced back to the 16th century, when King Philip II decided to move the royal court from Toledo to Madrid, which was becoming the political and cultural center of Spain. The king commissioned a new palace to be built on the site of the old Alcázar fortress, which had been destroyed by a fire in 1734.

The construction of the new palace began in 1738, under the direction of the Italian architect Filippo Juvarra. However, Juvarra died in 1736, before he could complete the project. The work was continued by his assistant, Giambattista Sacchetti, and later by the Spanish architect Francesco Sabatini.

The construction of the palace was a massive undertaking, and it took more than 25 years to complete. The interior decoration and furnishing of the palace were also a major undertaking, involving the most talented artists and craftsmen of the time. Among the most notable contributors were the painter Francisco de Goya, who decorated some of the palace’s rooms with his famous frescoes, and the clockmaker Juan de Villanueva, who designed the impressive clock tower that dominates the palace’s façade.

Despite its grandeur and opulence, the Royal Palace of Madrid has not always been used as a royal residence. In fact, it was only occupied by the royal family for a short period of time, during the reign of Charles III in the late 18th century. Since then, it has been used mainly for ceremonial purposes, such as state dinners, official receptions, and other important events.


Here are some interesting Royal Palace of Madrid facts  that you should know. 

  1. The Royal Palace of Madrid has more than 3,400 rooms, making it one of the largest royal palaces in Europe. However, only a few dozen of these rooms are open to the public.
  2. The palace is built on the site of the old Alcázar fortress, which was originally built in the 9th century by the Moors, and later expanded by the Christian kings of Castile.
  3. The palace has a total floor area of 135,000 square meters, and features a mix of architectural styles, including Baroque, Rococo, and Neo-classical.
  4. The palace’s façade is dominated by a large clock tower, which is topped by a statue of the goddess Minerva. The clock tower has four clock faces, each measuring more than 5 meters in diameter.
  5. The palace’s most impressive room is the Throne Room, which is used for official ceremonies and state receptions. The room is decorated with impressive frescoes by Francisco de Goya, and features a magnificent throne made of mahogany and covered in gold leaf.
  6. Another highlight of the palace is the Royal Armoury, which houses one of the finest collections of weapons and armor in Europe. The collection includes more than 3,000 pieces, dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries.
  7. The palace also features a number of impressive gardens, including the Sabatini Gardens, which were designed in the 1930s by the Italian architect Francesco Sabatini. The gardens feature a mix of Italian and French
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