The Royal Palace of Madrid (Spanish: Palacio Real de Madrid) is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family at the city of Madrid. A master piece built on the baroque architectural style and lies on 135,000 square metres (1,450,000 sq ft) of floor space. The palace is located on Calle de Bailén (“Bailén Street”) in the western part of downtown Madrid. The Royal Palace of Madrid was built in the 18th century by order of Philip V on the site of the old Alcázar fortress, a former Moorish castle.
The palace of Madrid is so large that it contains 3418 rooms, just enough to fit a large number of people should the need ever arise. It has 870 windows, 240 balconies and 44 staircases. Inside the palace, rich materials were used: spanish marble, stucco, mahogany doors and windows.
The palace is owned by the Spanish State and administered by the Patrimonio Nacional, a public agency of the Ministry of the Presidency. It is the largest functioning Royal Palace and known as the largest royal palace in the whole of Europe.
King Felipe VI and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace, choosing instead the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid. Now used mainly for ceremonial and public functions, the Royal Palace of Madrid is open to the public as a museum of the building’s and the country’s history.
It is used to host state functions and ceremonies, also open to the public for tourism. Fifty of the rooms in the palace are open for public visits. A charge fee of €13 is used to admit visitors in the palace, except for some days it’s free. Visitors enter the palace from the Plaza de la Armería. Some of the rooms that can be seen are: the ‘porcelain’ room, ‘throne’ room and ‘clock’ room. There is a royal army museum in the palace.
The interior of the palace is notable for its wealth of art and the use of many types of fine materials in the construction and the decoration of its rooms. It includes paintings by artists such as Caravaggio, Juan de Flandes, Francisco de Goya, and Velázquez, and frescoes by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Corrado Giaquinto, and Anton Raphael Mengs.