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For a feel of royalty while traveling through Madrid, you need not go far, just to the Palacio Real, or the Royal Palace. An astounding building, it has nearly 3000 rooms, not to mention it’s 40 staircases, and 240 balconies. When it comes to the magnitude of the building, it only comes second to Versailles.
When adding the palace to your tourist destinations, you will be amazed at its magnitude. While less than 10 percent of the palace is open to the public, you will not even be able to see that portion of the structure in a single day. What you will see is astounding attention to detail in construction and decoration from the lush tapestries to the rococo decorations including porcelain and other precious treasures
The palace was originally created for Phillip V. It was then the location of the power of Spain and ruling much of the known-world of that time. The Palacio Real was occupied by a number of monarchs in Spain, the last being Alfonso XIII who lived there until 1931.
The Madrid destination may have a French Classical appearance to its architecture now, but its history was very different. The site was original Alcázar, a Moorish fortress constructed in the 9th century. It was destroyed by fire in 1734.
When you are traveling the palace grounds, there are some unique statues to behold. Included in the display are Montezuma, the Aztec king, and Alahualpa, an Incan prince.
As a tourist to the palace, you may opt to be guided through the grounds through a two-hour presentation. On this tour, you will see the breathtaking ceramic walls and amazing sparkling chandeliers of the Salón de Gasparini. You will also get a feel for what formal dinners would be like, with a tour through the banquet hall that can hold over 100 guests.
Another astounding area to look upon is the throne room. This is the room that held one of the superpowers of the world in the 18th century. The throne room has two seats that royalty would use to send their influence to the world in the form of edicts.
You can also see how the power of the throne was backed up with a tour through the royal armory with it’s display of armor and weapons, as well as torture devices that were used in the time of the Spanish Inquisition.
Another stop on the tour will be the Royal Library, or Biblioteca Real. Among the more impressive items on the shelves, an original, first edition of Cervantes Don Quixote, as well as a set of Stradivarius instruments.
If you ever wondered what medical care of the days of old was like, you will get that answer in the Royal Pharmacy. In this room you will see the instruments that were used to treat ailments of the royal family.
While a portion of the palace is a tourist attraction, many of the areas are still working facilities. You can watch the changing of the guard outside, and some days the pharmacy will be closed due to official functions.