Madrid's Royal Palace: A Regal History

The Royal Palace Madrid or the Palacio Real de Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish Royal family in the city of Madrid in Spain. The Royal Palace Madrid is now used only for state ceremonies and other events of national importance. Built with a floor space of 135,000 m2, the Royal Palace consists of 3,418 rooms. It is the second largest functioning royal palace and has the second largest floor area in Europe.

The Royal Palace of Madrid was constructed between the years 1738 to 1755. The palace is open to public visitors now except during the state functions. The palace is located on Calle de Bailén or the "Bailén Street", in the western part of downtown Madrid. The interiors of the palace contain artworks by some of the famous painters like Juan de Flandes, Velazquez, Francisco de Goya and Caravaggio. There are frescoes made by Anton Raphael Mengs, Corrado Giaquinto and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. There are several other artefacts in the Royal Palace which have artistic importance and they represent the history of Spain as well. They include the Royal Armory, silverware, furniture, porcelain, watches and many more. It also contains the world’s only complete Stradivarius string quintet.

Historical Attractions In Royal Palace Of Madrid

The Royal Palace of Madrid has several glorious attractions one must look out for. Take a stroll through the enchanting Sabatini Gardens and learn more about the history of Spain in the Royal Armory. Be sure to get dazzled by the crown jewels in the Crown Room and the Hall of Mirrors.

The mesmerizing Sabatini Gardens
The Mesmerizing Sabatini Gardens

Situated at the northern side of the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Sabatini Gardens is one of the two gardens in the palace. The garden has been named after Francesco Sabatini, the architect who designed the first floor plan of the palace. The garden is vast and it extends to the Calle de Bailén and the Cuesta de San Vicente.

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Plaza de la Armería
Plaza de la Armería

Located in the south of the palace building, the Plaza de la Armeria or the Armory Square is the main square in the palace. You will get to witness the Ceremony of Changing the Royal Guards at the Plaza de la Armeria if you visit the Royal Palace Madrid on the first Wednesday of the month.

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Royal Armory
Royal Armory

The Royal Armory of Madrid is known to be one of the best in the world. The Madrid Royal Palace contains treasured pieces of armoury from as early as the 15th century. The equipment used by Emperor Charles V in the Battle of Muhlberg and the riding gear of Carlos V and Felipe II can be found here among many other notable pieces. You will also find the signed armour by one of the greatest armourers, Filippo Negroli.

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The Crown Room
The Crown Room

The Crown Room in the palace used to be the Chamber of Queen Maria. The Crown, the Sceptre and noteworthy jewels are put on display here. Made out of chiselled, embossed and gilded silver, the Crown belonged to Carlos III. The sceptre, which has been made out of rock crystal, silver-plated filigree, enamels, and garnets set, dates back to the reign of Charles II.

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Hall Of Mirrors
Hall Of Mirrors

Made with pink marbles and a thin layer of white and blue ornamentation, the Hall of Mirrors is one of the most beautiful rooms in the Royal Palace Madrid. Originally it would be used by Queen Maria Luisa de Parma, the wife of Carlos IV, as a dressing table.

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Hall Of Columns
Hall Of Columns

The Halls of Columns in the Royal Palace of Madrid is the room where official balls and receptions used to take place. Signing of important treaties also used to be held in the Hall of Columns. The Treaty of Spain's accession to the European Community has been signed within the walls of this hall. You will also get to see some famous and mesmerising work of classical art here. The sculpture of Charles V of Germany and Charles I of Spain has been showcased here. The Belgian tapestries and the stunning vault in this hall are some of the major attractions.

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Main Staircase Royal at Palace of Madrid
Main Staircase

The Main Staircase of the Madrid Royal Palace grabs all the attention. There are 72 marble steps in the staircase and it has two levels. There is a grand sculpture of Carlos III at the central landing of the Main Staircase. It is a splendid work of architecture by Sabatini. The staircase is known to have been particularly admired by the great dictator and French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

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Gasparini’s Hall at Royal Palace of Madrid
Gasparini’s Hall

Gasparini’s Hall is one of the most impressively decorated rooms in the Royal Palace of Madrid. It used to be the chamber of Carlos III in his time. It has now been named after Matias Gasparini, the artist who bears the credits for designing this room. The marble floors and the silver thread of the tapestries in this hall are strikingly beautiful. The hall is now used by the King to welcome his royal guests for an aperitif or coffee in this room.

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Royal Chapel at Royal Palace
Royal Chapel

The Royal Chapel in the Marid Royal Palace is a room where the architectural project has never been finished. It consists of a grand altar and the ceiling contains the paintings of Sachetti and Ventura Rodriguez. The musical organ in the Royal Chapel is quite a unique one owing to its quality of sound. It has been made according to tradition by Ferdinand VI, for whom music was paramount.

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Why Visit The Royal Palace Of Madrid?

Royal Palace of Madrid
  • The Madrid Royal Palace spreads across an area of 135,000 m2 and has 3418 rooms. It is one of the largest functioning royal palaces in Europe.
  • The history of the Madrid Royal Palace dates back to 860. The palace has gone through several renovations over the years. A lot important artefacts have also been lost due to various reasons. But the palace contains many ancient attractions and the palace holds great cultural and historical importance in the country.
  • You will find the most treasured belongings of the Spanish Monarchy in the Crown Room. The Crown and the Sceptre are major attractions.
  • There are several other attractions that you can explore and learn more about the palace and its bygone days. The Plaza de la Armeria, the Sabatini Gardens, the grand staircase, the library, the armory and the Royal Apartments are some of the most intriguing attractions in the palace.
  • It is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family. However, the Spanish King and Queen do not live there. The palace is used for state ceremonies, events, royal balls, peace talks and other political events.

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Tips For Visiting The Royal Palace of Madrid

Royal Palace of Madrid History
  • Entry to the Madrid Royal Palace is free on Monday to Thursday from 5 pm to 7 pm.
  • Taking photographs in the Royal Palace of Madrid is not allowed in the more decorative rooms. However, photography in the first few rooms is permitted. Make sure you take photographs in the designated areas only. Otherwise, hefty fines will be laid on you.
  • The Armory is an attraction that you must visit on your tour. You will find life sized horses geared in armour here. You will also find noteworthy period armours belonging to some of the greatest Spanish Kings that are put on display in the Armory.
  • Start your tour early in the morning, right after the Madrid Royal Palace opens, in order to avoid the heat. If you have planned your tour in the afternoon, ensure that you carry sunscreen and umbrella to stay safe from the sun and heat.

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Book Royal Palace of Madrid Tickets

Royal Palace Madrid: Skip-The-Line Entrance with Optional Digital Guide
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  • Enter into a world of opulence and grandeur with fast-track access to Europe's largest and most luxurious palace, the Royal Palace of Madrid

  • Marvel at the sheer grandeur of over 3,000 lavish rooms, each with its own unique history and architectural splendor

  • Wander through the palace's painting galleries, adorned with masterpieces by renowned artists like Caravaggio, Velázquez, Goya, and Sorolla

  • See the palace's weapons armory, filled with an impressive collection that features the martial prowess of bygone eras

  • Book your Royal Palace of Madrid tickets and be captivated by the intricate frescoes adorning the walls and ceilings

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Must Know Before You Go
  • All foreign nationals must share their passport and visa details at the time of arrival.
  • ID proof is mandatory for each individual guest at the time of arrival.
  • All visitors must pass through a security check prior to entering Madrid Palace.
  • Manual wheelchairs are available to rent.
  • Arrive at the activity location 15 minutes before the start.
  • Please note that the time slots may be subject to slight variations, and we will allocate a time slot available within a 30-minute window before or after your initial selection.
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Royal Palace of Madrid History FAQs

What is special about the Royal Palace of Madrid?

    The Royal Palace of Madrid has a rich history. It is the largest palace in Western Europe and one of the largest palaces in the world. It spreads across 135,000 m2 and contains 3418 rooms. Only a few of the rooms are open to the common public. The palace also contains great works of art by some of the famous artists like Goya, Velazquez, Caravaggio and many more. It also contains some glorious objects of historical and artistic importance including the world’s only complete Stradivarius string quintet and the Royal Armory of Madrid.

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