Welcome to my Royal Palace description page, for photos & videos of this site click --> HERE.
The Palace dates back to the 9th century, when it was a rudimentary defensive fort constructed by the Islamic Kingdom of Toledo. This fort was subsequently used by the Kings of Castile. The fortress gave way to the building of an Alcázar in the 16th century.
A devastating fire tore through the Alcázar and left the Royal Family of King Phillip V homeless (not quite!) on Christmas Eve of 1734. The King soon ordered a new Palace built on the same exact site and what rose from the ashes was the current Royal Palace which was constructed entirely of stone and brick so that it may never again be ravaged by the flames (smart King that Felipe V). The new Palace was completed in 1755 and King Carlos III moved in 1764.
Many important State ceremonies take place at the Royal Palace. Modern political protocall requires the Palace to be the venue for occasions such as the welcoming of Heads of State or the presentation of new ambassadors to Spain. A perfect example of a special State occasion was in 1996 when Spain was signed into the European Union, the signing ceremony took place in the Throne Room of the Royal Palce. Religious ceremonies held at the Palace include the Corpus Christi celebrations.
Aside from official State functions, the areas surrounding the Palace such as the "Plaza de Oriente" are often used for concerts such as the ones during Madrid's yearly "San Isidro Festival"
As an interesting side note, the Changing of the Guard can be observed in the square of The Royal Palace on the first Wednesday of each month.
Physically, the Royal Palace has 4 facades. The North facade which faces the "Jardines de Sabatini", the East facade which looks towards the beautiful "Plaza de Oriente", the South facade that faces the "Catedral de la Amudena" and the West facade which overlooks the "Campo del Moro" gardens and the western part of the city. The Palace is made up of white stone from the area of Madrid know as "Colmenar" and granite from the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains just outside of the city. Many other materials were also used to adorn and finish off the Palace such as various types of Spanish marble, golden stucco, lavish woods and many different types of paint.
In addition to the main Palace building, the Royal Palace has a Royal Pharmacy, Art Galery and beautiful "Campo del Moro" gardens on it's west side that boast spectacular views of the west face of the palace.
You can visit the official website of the Royal Palace of Madrid in English by clicking HERE. They have a great site and if you let them install the plug in they require you can take a very cool virtual tour (the loading takes a while but it is well worth the wait!).
Large group visits must be arranged ahead of time on Tel. (+34) 91 547 5350 and (+34) 91 454 8700 - Ext: 7234 from 9:00am to 2:00pm Monday to Friday.
Getting there: The Royal Palace is located on the Calle Bailén just West of the Plaza de Isabel II and the Royal Theatre. Metro stop "Opera" (lines 2 &5.). The ticket entrance is on the East facade facing the "Plaza de Oriente", you can't miss it!
Other: Disabled access is available (wheelchair ramps, etc).