The Palace seen from Plaza de Oriente
After the fire, King Philip V commissioned Italian architect Filippo Juvara to supervise the construction of a new Royal Palace. Juvara had already earned a name for himself in Turin, where he designed the impressive Basilica di Superga and Palazzo di Stupinigi. Unfortunately, both Philip V and Juvara died before the building was completed. It was finished in 1755 by his pupils, including Giovanni Battista Sacchetti, also an Italian.
Although various royal families have resided in the palace until 1930, today it is a royal museum. Inside you will find a beautiful collection of tapestries, porcelain, antique clocks and weaponry. There are priceless paintings to admire, including by Caravaggio, Goya and Velazquez. The largest throne room, hall of mirrors and royal dining rooms clearly show the luxury in which the monarchs once lived. The current King, Felipe VI, has opted for more compact housing in the Palacio de la Zarzuela, located just outside the city.
The gardens of the Palacio Real
The French style Jardines de Sabatini are located north of the Palacio Real. This is a fantastic spot to escape the crowds and relax in the shade of pines and cypress trees. The royal stables once stood here, but were destroyed in the 1930s during the Franco regime. The gardens are situated at the bottom of a hill and around 10 metres lower than the nearby Plaza de Orient, so that, seen from the gardens, the palace is even more imposing than when viewed from the front.