This palace was a leisure residence in times of the Catholic Kings. Carlos V passed long stays in it, but Fernando II was who turned it into a normal place of residence for the royal family.
In the XVIII Century the Borbon dynasty embellished the complex enlarging the Royal Palace, completing the PrinceÂ´ s Garden and building Casa del Labrador, a Spanish garden which is typical from the Austria dynasty style.
Its facades are decorated with red brick and limestone. They are regular and crowned by a great balustrade. The central body stands out the rest. It is decorated with statues of the three kings that took part in the construction of this palace.
In 1748, a fire destroyed the palace, although it was rebuilt by the Italian BonavĂa in the XVII Century.
Among its main rooms we should highlight the staircase carried out during Fernando VÂ´ s reign by BonavĂa in wrought- iron and golden in a Rococo style. It looks like a labyrinth with many access ramps. The whole SalĂłn del trono (Throne Room) is covered with velvet and furnished with Rococo furniture. Here, we should highlight a painting in the ceiling that represents an allegory to the Monarchy. The Sala de Porcelana (Porcelain Room) was built between 1759 and 1765 and was carried out by Italian artists, ordered by the king Carlos III.
This room is totally covered by porcelain plates from the FĂˇbrica del Buen Retiro in Madrid (Buen Retiro Factory). The background is white and it is decorated with garlands and relieves with Chinese and exotic themes. The Sala de Guardias de la Reina (Room of the QueenÂ´ s Guard), is the room where the Guards of Corps, whose mission was to watch over the queen, stayed.
Other important rooms are the Gala Dining Room, the QueenÂ´ s Room and the Oratory, which is covered with beautiful frescoes. In these rooms took part artists such as Amiconi, Bayeu and Giordano.
There are numerous gardens (PrinceÂ´ s gardens, Island Garden), that are crossed by the quiet water of the River Tajo that surrounds the palace. Among the most important gardens is the large PrinceÂ´ s Garden, with its architectural works, such as the access doors to the garden, ApolloÂ´ s Fountain or the pond with its classic and Chinese shrines, designed by Juan de Villanueva, who also built the stately home known as Casa del Labrador.
From October to March:
Tuesday to Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
From April to September:
Tuesday to Saturday, Sunday an public holidays, from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.
1st May; 5 September, 24, 25, and 31 December.
General Ticket: 9 â‚¬.
Reduced entry: large families, children aged between 5 and 16 years old, pensioners, students under 25 years old: 4 â‚¬.
Free entry: children under 5 years old, disabled, and unemployed persons.