The Royal palace in Madrid is not the only palace that belongs to the Royal family which can be visited. Most visitors to Spain think that there is only one Royal Palace in the country. That is not the case though. How many royal palaces are Spain? The answer is eight.
Two of the Royal Palaces are located in Madrid (The Madrid Royal Palace and the less known Palacio del Pardo), four other palaces are located at less than one hour drive from Madrid. They are the Royal Palace of Aranjuez, located at less than 40 minutes drive south of Madrid, the Palacio de la Granja, which is mainly known for its amazing gardens and which are sometimes compared to those of Versailles. El Escorial Monastery is another famous palace though in reality, it is much more than a palace since it is also a monastery, a huge church, library, and school. It is at the Escorial where the Spanish Kings are buried. Last but not least, the less known Palacio de Riofrio, a game reserve, located also very close to the Unesco heritage site of Segovia. For many locals, the best royal palaces are those located in the surroundings of Madrid. Aranjuez and El Escorial, both Unesco sites, and La Granja de San Ildefonso, along with the amazing Unesco town of Segovia, make for one of the best day tours to enjoy from Madrid.
We have so far mentioned 6 out of the eight Royal Palaces in Spain. The two remaining palaces are the Palace of Almudaina in Palma de Mallorca (located right next to the famous Cathedral of Palma).
The last palace in the list is the Cuarto Alto de los Reales Alcazares de Sevilla: a series of buildings inside the Alcazar de Sevilla complex.
Theme Parks in Spain
El Pardo is a huge forest located in the border of Madrid. The Pardo Palace is located in the hills of el Pardo forest. These hills were used by the royal as a hunting lodge. The palace was built by order of Charles V and enlarged during the reign of Charles III in the XVIIIth century. El Pardo palace was the residence of Franco for many years and since 1983 it is used as the official residence for heads of foreign States visits to Madrid.
Located in the province of Segovia, just 15 minutes drive from the city of Segovia (a Unesco heritage site) La Granja de San Ildefonso is one of the royal palaces in Spain near Madrid. Its gardens and fountains make it look like the Spanish version of Versailles. The complex is composed of 3 main elements: the gardens with its spectacular fountains, the palace and the colegiata church.
The beautiful grounds are perhaps the most attractive feature of La Granja. They were designed in classical French style along the lines of Le Notre’s gardens at Versailles and cover a total area of some 360 acres surrounded by a fence nearly 4 miles long. The paths and squares were finished in 1723, at a total length of 22 miles; the elm and wild chest nut trees were planted in the same year. The garden was planned by René Carlier, whose task was helped by Marchand’s preparation of the soil and construction of channels. After Carlier’s death, Esteban Boutelou took over; he had been the resident garden designer at Aranjuez since 1716. The gardens have 26 enormous fountains, as well as numerous smaller ones,and there are sculptures everywhere,
mostly of animals and children
La Granja is a monumental building with four parallel wings, in the middle of which the old monks’ guest house
survives. Ardemáns began the work in 1721. The main façade, 509 ft. long and 43 ft. high.
he interior, in spite rearrangement and damage sustained fires, still has well-furnished rooms with many interesting and valuable pieces. On the ground floor, the Sculpture Gallery following rooms are the most interesting whose ceiling is decorated with mythological themes.
Laid out as a Latin cross, it has shigh dome over the transept and a façade
with two towers. The finest piece in the church is the tomb of Philip V and his wife, which was completed in 1756. It is made of marble, and busts of the royal couple in medallions.