Madrid’s Royal Palace was built in the 18th century by order of Philip V on the site of the old Alcázar fortress, a former Moorish castle.
Sachetti began the works in 1738, and the building was completed in 1764. It has a square floor plan with a large central courtyard. Sabatini designed the southeast wing and the Great Staircase, or Staircase of Honor. The Puerta del Príncipe gateway on the east side gives access to the central courtyard.
The Sabatini and Campo del Moro Gardens are among the Palace’s other attractions, as are its several different façades. There is some debate as to its artistic style; it is thought by some experts to belong more to the Baroque and by others to the Neo-classical style. Of particular note among its numerous rooms are the Royal Guards’ Room, the Columns Room, the Hall of Mirrors, and King Charles III’s room. It also contains paintings by Velázquez, Goya, Rubens, El Greco, and Caravaggio.
The Royal Palace of Madrid is the largest both in Western Europe and in the world, with over 135,000 square meters and 3,418 rooms — and it has witnessed centuries of Spanish history. It is one of the few that is open to the public. Almost two million visitors come every year to discover its rooms, works of art, and treasures that are unique in the world.
THE ROYAL PALACE TODAY
The Royal Palace of Madrid, like all the royal sites managed by Patrimonio Nacional, is regularly used by Their Majesties, the King and Queen of Spain, for audiences and official events. Moreover, the Royal Palace of Madrid continues to be the official residence of the King of Spain, and it is also the only official residence of a Head of State that is open to the public, ensuring that the Palace is alive as it organizes official events, the changing of the guard and dozens of activities that revolve around the visitors.
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