Real de Madrid Palace

Real de Madrid Palace panoramic view

Real de Madrid Palace (Palacio Real de Madrid) is the first royal palace in Madrid known as the Alcázar.

Royal Palace of Madrid History

Real de Madrid Palace courtyard detail

Palacio Real de Madrid was initially a fortress built around 875 by Muhammed I on a promontory that was soon incorporated into the northwest corner of the city walls.

The Trastámara dynasty altered the structure, creating new towers around the military courtyard, a chapel, and a room decorated with Mudéjar-style images.

In 1536 Charles V, as part of his general initiative for improving a number of royal palaces, commissioned a major reworking of the palace. But almost 200 years later, a fire on Christmas Eve 1734 destroyed nine centuries of history but enabled the new dynasty to build a palace to its own taste.

The new Palacio Real was built in 1738 to designs by Giovanni Battista Sacchetti. The new palace, built on a square ground plan from Colmenar stone on a granite base, displays Italian and French Neo-classical influences.

Real de Madrid Palace interior detail

Royal Palace of Madrid Decoration
In 1753 the decoration began under Corrado Giaquinto; Anton Raphael Mengs and Giambattista Tiepolo took over in 1761–1762. The palace’s collection of paintings, sculptures, and tapestries by leading Spanish, Italian, Flemish, and French artists, which had suffered heavily in the fire of 1734, was increased by successive monarchs, notably Charles III (1759–1788).

Among the works that survived the fire, however, were the gilt bronze lions by Giuliano Finelli in the red satin-lined Salón del Trono; the same room has a painted ceiling by Tiepolo, depicting the Glory of Spain. Mengs decorated the ceiling of the Gran Comedor (formerly the Cuarto de la Reina) with the Triumph of Aurora (1762–4), and Francisco Bayeu also painted al fresco ceiling decorations.

Also by Mengs is the unfinished altarpiece in the Capilla Real; the ceiling displays impressive paintings by Giaquinto who also painted the ceiling above the palace’s main marble staircase.

Real de Madrid Palace and Sabatini Gardens

The palace also houses the Armería Real, the central feature of which is a collection made by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Flemish and German armor.

In 1962 the Nuevos Museos was established in the northwest wing of the palace in order to exhibit properly the numerous paintings contained in the royal collection.

Royal Palace of Madrid Location

Address: Royal Palace of Madrid, Calle Bailen, 0, 28001 Madrid, Spain. Get help with directions using the map provided below:

Royal Palace of Madrid Map

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