The Palacio Real is a a massive palace that is known as the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family. This is more of a symbolic recognition since the king does not actually live there and it is used primarily as a tourist attraction or for state functions. Construction started in 1738 and finished in 1759.
My new hostel friends and I decided to check out the palace after briefly seeing it during our walking tour since admission was free after 4PM that day. Correction: Admission is free for certain groups after 4PM that day. These groups include EU residents and residents of Ibero-American countries, probably to make amends for a history of colonization in Latin and South America. I wasn’t part of either group, so I had to pay the regular €10 (~$10.63) price. It’s not thaaat much, but I wonder what would have happened if I argued that I’m Filipino and the Philippines was a Spanish colony for over three centuries. It’s quite possible that I have some Spanish blood in me and Spain didn’t just invade the Americas.
After we got our tickets, we were let into the Plaza de la Armería outside. Before going into the palace, we also checked out the view of what I assume is Parque Del Campo Del Moro. The palace is built on a hill, so it looks like there is a pretty steep drop into the wooded area below.
The entrance of the palace features a grand staircase with a statue of who I thought was Julius Caesar, but is more likely either King Charles III or King Charles IV dressed in Roman attire. Above is an impressive fresco by Italian painter Corrado Giaquinto.
Only a small amount of rooms in the palace are open to the public for viewing. Well, when I say small, I mean relative to how many room there actually are. I’ve seen numbers from 2,800 to 3,418, but I guess it also depends on what you would qualify as a “room”. We wondered why all those rooms would be needed. Were there random rooms dedicated to random things? “Here is the rabbit room where we keep the rabbits! Here is the clock room where we keep our clocks! Here is the pilate room where we do our pilates!”
Not quite. Most of the rooms were probably devoted to staff housing and other typical things. The rooms that we were able to walk through featured your standard fare of fancy furniture and decorations. We saw royal chambers, the throne room, the waiting room for the throne room, the crown room, and what you would probably expect from a European palace. No photos allowed, which is why this post is pretty bare. I’m not sure what else to say really. Most decorative arts aren’t particularly interesting to me.
The five of us and two of Simo’s friends were starting to get a little hungry, so we walked around a bit to find a place to get some lunch together. We ended up at a restaurant called La Muralla and I ordered a beer and tortilla Española, often referred to as a Spanish omelette, made of eggs and potatoes. Yum.
Simo and his friends left to go to a concert while the rest of us headed back to the hostel to relax a bit. We agreed to do our hostel’s dinner/club crawl combo and wanted to rest before what we expected to be a crazy night. We weren’t wrong.