The Royal Palace was built where the old Alcazar of Madrid was located, which was erected as a Muslim fortress in the 9th century. In charge of this first fort was the emir Mohamed I in Magerit (Arab name of the city) constructed like a citadel to defend Toledo of the advance of the Christians.
The kings of Castile used it eventually until in the fourteenth century it was transformed into what became known as Old Alcazar. It was the kings Carlos I and Felipe II (his son) who made it the permanent residence of the monarchs.
It was in 1734 when a devastating fire destroyed the building and, over its remains, Felipe V had the current palace built.
Juan Bautista Sachetti will be in charge of carrying out the definitive plans after the death of Filippo Juvara.
Carlos III was known as "the king mayor" because of the many reforms and initiatives he developed in the city, and will be the first monarch to inhabit the palace and who will finish the decoration of it.
The successors kings finished the decoration of the numerous rooms that lodge the palace, making of this at present a gallery of works and rooms worthy of visiting.
The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the king of Spain, although these do not live in the palace. Today it is used for state ceremonies and solemn acts. With an area of 135,000 m² and over 3400 rooms, it is the largest royal palace in Western Europe, and one of the largest in the world.
Also known as Palacio de Oriente due to its location in Plaza de Oriente, although the palace's location is rather western. At the other end of the square is the Teatro Real.
Around the Royal Palace
- Campo del Moro Gardens.
- Sabattini Gardens.
- Plaza de Oriente.
- La Almudena Cathedral.
- Royal Theater (Opera).
- Muslim Walls of Madrid.
Opening hours - winter:
Daily 10.00am – 6.00pm
Opening hours – summer (April to September):
Daily 10.00am – 8.00pm
Closing days: 1st of May, 25th of December, 1st and 6th of January/ Closed fromm 03:00 pm 24th and 31st of December.
Standard admission: €11
Agency rate: €8
Free admission: Monday to Friday in the Royal Palace from 4pm to 6pm. (October to March) and 6pm to 8pm (April to September). Admission is free for EU citizens, residents and holders of work permits in the EU and Hispanic American citizens with certification of nationality or a residence or work permit.
How to get there
Metro: L5 Opera (from Chueca direct line)
On foot: About 15 minutes.