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Madrid's Most Beautiful Baroque Palaces and How to Find Them

Madrid's Royal Palace |
 © Susana Fernandez/Flickr
Madrid's Royal Palace | © Susana Fernandez/Flickr
Madrid is home to some beautifully-preserved Baroque architecture dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. From the Plaza Mayor to the huge Royal Palace, visitors are in for an array of architectural treats. Here’s our guide to some of the best examples of Baroque palaces in and around Madrid.

Palacio Real

Historical Landmark, Building
Royal Palace of Madrid, Spain.
The Royal Palace of Madrid has 3,000 rooms | © Adwo / Alamy Stock Photo

Palacio Real

Madrid’s imposing Royal Palace was completed in 1764 and is one of the city’s most striking examples of Baroque architecture. It is Europe’s largest royal palace by floor area, and has 2,800 rooms, 50 of which are open to the public. It is the official Madrid residence of the Spanish Royal Family, but is only used for state ceremonies (they live in the more modest Zarzuela Palace, just outside Madrid). Visitors on a guided or self-guided tour can take in paintings by Spanish artists including Goya, in addition to the sumptuous throne room and armoury among other features. Visiting hours are 10am-6pm in winter and 10am-8pm in summer. General admission is €11 (US$12.29).

Calle de Bailén, s/n, Madrid, Spain, +34 914 54 87 00

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Royal Palace of El Pardo

This palace, to the north of Madrid, began life as a 15th century hunting lodge and became an alternative residence of the kings of Spain until the early 19th century. After a huge fire destroyed much of the palace, it was renovated in the 18th century by Francesco Sabatini, an Italian architect who worked in Spain and whose influence can be seen throughout the capital. Its interiors feature 18th and 19th century furniture and paintings. It is the residence used to accommodate foreign heads of state when they visit Spain, but is open to the public when not in official use. General admission is €9 (US$10). Open Monday-Sunday, 10am-6pm.

Calle Manuel Alonso, s/n, Madrid, Spain, +34 913 76 15 00

Real Hospicio de San Fernando

Building, Museum
The Museum of the History of Madrid | The Museum of the History of Madrid
This former orphanage was built by architect Pedro de Ribiera in the 18th century. It is noticeable for its pink Baroque facade, which is often cited as one of the best examples of Spanish Baroque architecture in Madrid. Today, the building houses the Museum of the History of Madrid, open to the public from Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-8pm and is closed on Mondays. One of the museum’s gems is the Goya painting Allegory of the City of Madrid. You can also see prints, maps, models and photographs charting the history of the city.
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