About Royal Palace of Madrid Library

The Royal Palace of Madrid Library inside the Royal Palace of Madrid is historically known as the Royal Particular or Chamber, offers an intimate glimpse into Spain’s rich cultural tapestry. Initially established in the 18th century by King Philip V, it commenced as an expansive Cabinet of Fine Arts before evolving into a literary treasure trove. Visitors can explore a diverse collection of not just books but also musical instruments, medals, coins and scientific devices. Additionally, you can discover manuscripts, prints, and musical scores, all of which symbolize the intellectual curiosity and cultural patronage of the Spanish monarchy.

With its origins being similar to that of the current National Library, it boasts an original collection reflective of a deep commitment to the arts and sciences. Over the centuries, meticulous efforts have been invested in preserving, expanding, and cataloguing its valuable assets. These assets currently consist of over 400,000 volumes, including 15,000 manuscripts and 20,000 prints. Special sections dedicated to rare books and music further highlight its comprehensive approach to collection.

Each piece within its confines tells a story, from illuminated manuscripts and rare books to maps and historic documents, all meticulously maintained by a dedicated conservation and restoration department. With guided tours available, you can immerse yourself in the library’s fascinating history and marvel at the reading room’s beautiful frescoes. Furthermore, you can soak in the stunning views of the palace gardens. All of this makes the Library a must-visit for anyone eager to learn about Spain’s illustrious past and vibrant cultural heritage.

Things to See in the Royal Library

Rare Manuscripts and Illuminated Texts
Rare Manuscripts and Illuminated Texts

The Royal Palace of Madrid library holds an exquisite collection of rare manuscripts and illuminated texts. You can find a unique Sephardic Bible from 1487 and engaging fifteenth-century Sephardic Bibles, mirroring the distinct traits of contemporary illuminated texts. The collection epitomizes the zenith of Spanish illumination, with archives extending to Barcelona and Toledo, encompassing awe-inspiring choir books from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, relics of a bygone era. Each piece, carefully crafted, offers a deep dive into a rich tapestry of history, making your visit unforgettable and enriching.

Historic Maps and Atlases
Historic Maps and Atlases

The Library at Royal Palace Madrid is also home to an amazing collection of historic maps and atlases. This assortment, showcasing the majestic Spanish Empire, features detailed maps from the Americas to the Philippines. Here you can find meticulously crafted atlases of Spain, presenting its captivating geography and landmarks. Besides that, you can also discover rare, invaluable maps and globes dating back to the 16th century. This also includes works by renowned cartographer Gerardus Mercator. The collection also houses military maps and historical city plans, offering a riveting visual history for visitors.

Antique Globes and Scientific Instruments
Antique Globes and Scientific Instruments

In the heart of the Royal Palace of Madrid library, you will find an incredible array of antique globes and scientific instruments. These antique globes and artefacts depict the historical perspectives of the world, showcasing meticulous details pivotal for navigation and cartographic studies. Equally, mesmerizing is the library's collection of scientific instruments, encompassing astrolabes, ornate clocks, and telescopes. Each instrument, beyond its function, chronicles the evolution of scientific thought and technology, offering visitors a visual and intellectual feast.

Researchers room
Researchers room

The Library at Royal Palace Madrid also houses the Researchers Room, which is a treasure trove for history enthusiasts. It houses an exclusive collection of unique books, manuscripts, and documents, primarily from the 16th to 19th centuries, concentrating on Spanish history and culture. You can gain insight into significant events like the Spanish Inquisition, the New World's discovery, and the reigns of the Habsburgs and Bourbons through invaluable documents here. The room's beautiful decor, featuring a coffered ceiling, intricate woodwork, and leather-bound books, offers a visually delightful experience.

Antique Furniture and Décor
Antique Furniture and Décor

The Royal Library of Madrid also boasts of a wide array of antique furniture and decor. The lavish pieces, once used by Spanish monarchs, display intricate craftsmanship using opulent materials like mahogany and silver. Beyond the furnishings, the decor is guaranteed to leave you in awe, from its coffered ceiling to the intricate woodwork, complemented by dark wooden shelves holding leather-bound books. This exudes grandeur and serves as a testament to the Spanish monarchy's artistic taste and the nation's rich cultural heritage.

Specialized databases
Specialized databases

At the Library within Madrid’s Royal Palace, you can dive into a world of knowledge with the specialized databases available here. These databases cover diverse topics from Spanish history to its vibrant art scene. A treasure of historical significance, they offer insights into the lifestyles of Spanish monarchs and Spain's rich cultural tapestry. Additionally, they fuel groundbreaking research on Spanish heritage. For educators, these databases are invaluable, providing rich resources to enlighten students about Spain's illustrious past.

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