The official residence of the Kings of Spain, the Palacio Real, now hosts gala dinners, official receptions and important ceremonies. The Royal Family now prefer to stay in the more intimate Zarzuela Palace, outside Madrid.
Built to replace the Alcazar Royal, which burned down in 1734, the Royal Palace of Madrid is built in white stone from Colmenar with marble decorations. The building is centred around a large central courtyard which is particularly impressive.
The palace was decorated by great Spanish court artists including Goya, Velazquez and El Greco in particular. With 2,800 rooms, with a floor space of around 135 000m ², it is one of the largest palaces in Europe.
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