Royal Palace of Aranjuez

Royal Palace of Aranjuez
Palacio Real de Aranjuez (Spanish)
There was a palace's military order, after the royal palace
Country Spain
Autonomous community Community of Madrid
Comarca Las Vegas
Municipality Aranjuez
Architects Juan Bautista de Toledo,
Juan de Herrera,
Francesco Sabatini,
Giuseppe Gricci,
Rafael Contreras Muñoz.
Style Renaissance,
French Empire style,
Queen Isabel II style.
Established Exclusive property for the monarch: 1523
 - Initiated 16th century
 - Completion 18th century
For public Public
Visitation Open (are not allowed photos of its interior)
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Name Aranjuez Cultural Landscape
Year 2001 (#25)
Number 1044
Region Europe and North America
Criteria ii, iv
Heritage designation Spanish Property of Cultural Interest
Registration name Palacio Real de Aranjuez
Reference no. RI-51-0001063
Designated 1931
Wikimedia Commons: Royal Palace of Aranjuez

The Royal Palace of Aranjuez (Spanish: Palacio Real de Aranjuez) is a residence of the King of Spain, located in the town of Aranjuez, in the Community of Madrid, Spain. The palace is open to the public as one of the Spanish royal sites.

In this palace were signed several historical western treaties; and many personalities died here, in 1568 died Elizabeth of Valois the Philip II's most beloved wife, in 1758 died Barbara of Portugal the Ferdinand VI's barren wife, in 1766 died Elisabeth Farnese being widow of Philip V. Also died here the Ferdinand VII the Felon's first wife Maria Antonia of Naples (1806), the second wife Maria Isabel of Portugal (1818) and third wife Maria Josepha Amalia of Saxony (1828).

In 1931, during the Second Spanish Republic declared the Royal Site a Artistic Historical Monument and opened to the public. This building is part of the Aranjuez Cultural Landscape declared in 2001 a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO

Most of days, the Patrimonio Nacional not allow photos of its interior.


It is in the 12th century when the Order of Santiago settled in the area due to its verdant landscape and mild climate that is beneficiary of Tagus and Jarama's waters.

As Royal Site, the history begins in 15th century, when the order's grandmaster Lorenzo I Suárez de Figueroa ordered the construction of a house-palace north of the present Royal Palace, designed to recreation of the members of the order.

In 1523, Aranjuez became a royal property. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (Charles I of Spain) was the one who gave this order's former possessions the dignity of Real Bosque y Casa de Aranjuez (Royal Wood and House of Aranjuez), in order to enjoy in them hunting's good days.

In 1551 he destined a facilities for botanical garden, which serve to catalog new species brought from the Americas.

But the emperor's purposes barely met. Wars, his long stays in Europe and health setbacks prevented him seize the property as much as anticipated. It did his son Philip II. After granting Aranjuez the designation of Royal Site in 1561, aware of how fertile place, he devoted a portion of land to farm.

In the adjacent plot, the King began construction of the first palace, direct antecedent of the current. He hired for this services Juan Bautista de Toledo and Juan de Herrera, responsibles for the El Escorial's works.

On the Philip II's death in 1598, the works were still to finish. In addition to the royal apartments, only they had built the chapel at the base of the south tower and part of the facades of noon and sunset. Then, the 17th century economic and political crisis and the lack of interest for the place of the last Habsburgs resulted in stoppage of work.

Was Philip V the Bourbon dynasty's first king, who decided to resume the work and tried to make Aranjuez his particular Versailles. Subsequently, this condition would inherit La Granja de San Ildefonso. With Philip V rose a new north tower, completed the west facade and charted the structure that would shape the current palace. Although little served. In 1748, a terrible fire destroyed almost all of his work.

After the fire, Ferdinand VI Philip V's son, rebuilds the palace. The new project, although he respected the original building's foundations, was due entirely to aesthetic and the 18th century's thought. That is, an ostentatious construction, and refined lines in the exterior, after which a series of sumptuously furnished dependencies were inside. As a tribute to its history, it were included in the main facade the statues of its main promoters: Philip II, Philip V and Philip VI.

The wings enclosing the courtyard were added in 18th century.

The imposing building that has reached today is mainly due to Charles III in his reforming work for Madrid and his court. The architect was Italian Francesco Sabatini who designed the two wings of the west, laterally limiting the cour d'honneur. At one end of the ensemble was located the chapel, and on opposite side should built a theater that never came up. Charles III provided the main building of the wings enclosing the courtyard.

The decoration was enriched in 18th and 19th centuries with paintings of various artists. Also appear in the halls hardwood furniture and several collections of tapestries, clocks, lamps and sculptures. These unique pieces still adorn a succession of halls, among which the Salón de Porcelana which was the Charles III's preferred corner.

Charles III did in Aranjuez one of his favorite abodes. He chosen as spring and summer residence, the Court used to move his residence from Madrid in mid-March and did not return to the capital until October. During this period, the King enjoyed the palace the environment, divided by Jardín del Parterre and Jardín de la Isla gardens, held lavish parties or sailed the Tagus's channels in rich artistically decorated Falúas (golden ships). For heirs's leisure, Charles IV and his wife Maria Luisa of Parma, a small pavilion was built in the gardens, the Casa del Labrador. It is a Neoclassical architecture's important example in Europe.

In 1808, during the stay of the royal family at Aranjuez, Manuel Godoy, Charles IV's favorite, faced opposition of the heir Ferdinand, he claimed that the Kings were put safe from the impending Napoleonic French invasion (he proposed them to flee to the Americas). When the rumor ran through the streets of the town, an angry crowd led by Ferdinand supporters thronged the palace's doors, while other groups assaulted the Godoy's house. He was refuged one day in his home's attic, and was discovered and taken prisoner. But then the Salón del Trono had witnessed the abdication of Charles IV in his son Ferdinand VII.

After the Bourbon restoration in the person of Alfonso XII, Royal Palace of Aranjuez housed the Dukes of Montpensier's family. It was in the days before the wedding of the King with the daughter of them (and Alfonso's cousin), Mercedes of Orléans. Groom and bride could hold a phone conversation Madrid-Aranjuez at the wedding eve, and the train, decorated for the occasion, which had a way station to the palace's doors, transported, the bride and her entourage to Madrid for the ceremony in 1878.

These would be the last splendours held in the vicinity of Aranjuez. Both Maria Christina of Austria the monarch's second wife, and his son Alfonso XIII and wife Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, preferred La Granja de San Ildefonso for royal vacations.


The palace consists of two floors, the bottom opens to the outside through windows in semicircular arch, while the upper does this through balconies with forging railings. The central body rises to a third floor surmounted by a pediment with the Ferdinand VI's shield. On both sides of the shield two stony inscriptions say, left: Philippus II / Institvit / Philippus V / provexit, while the inscription on the right says: Ferdinandu / VI Pius Felix / Consummavit / An MDCCLII, where indicated the date of 1752 as completion of the works.

On the ledge three statues of kings Philip II, Philip V and Ferdinand VI ordered erected by Ferdinand VI and carved by Pedro Martinengo. Ferdinand VI ordered rise in this central body a forward body as a portico that opens to outside through five arches on the front and a single arch on each side. A large balcony with stone parapets above the portico design a large balcony or open terrace to the courtyard. Behind the palace's main body find an interior courtyard around which the palace's various halls. The entire set is built in red brick and white stone from Colmenar de Oreja. In both corners can see two small towers finished with domes resting on circular drums. On drums alternate smooth walls, with small windows that illuminate the interior and others with a clock that have certain characteristics.

Las parejas reales (an equestrian fiesta held outside the palace) by Luis Paret y Alcázar in 1770. Currently in Museo del Prado.

Gives onto the south exterior facade is a large enclosed square on each side by a Renaissance-style two-story building, were the auxiliary dependences of the palace, warehouse area and servant halls. This square known as Plaza de las Parejas, owes its name to that in this place a equestrian fiesta was executed by the nobility parading in pairs.

Entrance to the Royal Palace is through the portico of the central body that allows access to interior through a hall which in turn leads to a large central staircase. Made by Giacomo Bonavía at the behest of Ferdinand VI. The fence is of black iron with gold trim and fits within the Rococo trend of the moment. From the ceiling hangs a Empire style large chandelier gilt bronze and crystal from La Granja.

The lobby is decorated with some sculptures and on top floor are three marble busts inside of respective alcoves representing Louis XIV of France, his wife Maria Theresa of Spain and their son Louis, Grand Dauphin, busts made in 1683 by French Antoine Coysevox. The presence of three French characters in the palace is explained by the intersection of the Spanish Bourbon family with the French. The French kings were the Philip V's grandparents, and the Grand Dauphin his father.


Salón de Guardias de la Reina

(Queen's guardroom) It is decorated with three scenes from the life of King Solomon painted by Italian Luca Giordano a map pockets olive wood's furniture from the time of King Charles IV, and clocks from the collection of Charles IV. In almost all halls of the palace is easy to find clocks of all sizes and characteristics, as King Charles IV was fond of clocks and also he build, repaired and collected clocks.

Salón de la Reina Isabel II

(Queen Isabel II's room). It is decorated with paintings by Luca Giordano with mythological themes: Jupiter and Leda, Aeolus (god of wind) and Triptolemus. Complete the decoration Empire style furniture.

Antecámara de Música

(Music's antechamber), popularly known as Salón del tranvía. This hall is decorated with religious paintings. This hall was used for reception of important personalities. Paintings with biblical scenes belonging to the 17th-century Italian school and religious paintings by Francesco Solimena, decorate its walls.

Sala de Música de la Reina

(Queen's music room) Found inside a olive wood's piano made in England, gift of Empress Eugénie de Montijo for Queen Isabel II. The rest of the furniture is Empire style mahogany. The bronze neo-Gothic lamp hanging from ceiling is made in 19th-century.

Anteoratorio de la Reina

(Queen's ante-oratory) Mosaic paintings made in the workshop of hard stones of the Vatican. It was a gift from Pope Leo XIII to King Alfonso XII on occasion of his marriage to Maria Christina of Austria.

Oratorio de la Reina

(Queen's oratory) Has windows looking to the central courtyard of the palace. Rebuilt in time of King Charles IV by Juan de Villanueva. Decorated with stucco, in its walls are frescoes painted around 1791 by Francisco Bayeu y Subías, Goya's brother-in-law. The subjects represented are: Adoration of the Magi, Adoration of the Shepherds, the Flight into Egypt, Visitation and Zechariah and St. Elizabeth with the Virgin Mary. In addition to the pillars that form the mouth of the main altar two evangelists: St. Matthew and St. Luke. In the center of the vault God the Father with a celestial glory of angels. At top of the dome above the central reredos the dove of the Holy Spirit. The canvas of the Immaculate occupying the central space of reredos is work by Mariano Salvador Maella.

Salón del Trono

(Throne Room) The recessed dome is decorated with Pompeian style frescoes attributed to Vicente Camarón in 1851 and represent the Monarchy whose symbol, the royal crown, is supported by figures of Venus and the Industry. To right the Arts and left the Abundance and the Prudence. Around the hall runs a stucco base that simulates marble with green tones (serpentine). In this hall kings officiated the formal visits. The walls are lined with red velvet fabrics. The furniture is from Isabel II's period, except the Louis XVI style royal chairs that were used by Alfonso XII and his wife.

Despacho de la Reina

(Queen's office) So named for having used by Isabel II as an office, as previously apparently it was a bedroom. It has a large number of paintings that decorate its walls, including the Vase by Jan Brueghel. A landscape by Martínez del Mazo, two paintings of small size with view of classical buildings, painted by Francisco Galli Bibiena, and three vases by Arellano are some other of most interesting paintings of this hall. The vault is frescoed in Pompeian style by Mariano Salvador Maella with scenes from the Passion of Christ. Next to this hall there is a small chapel or private oratory with a painting of the Virgin by Luca Giordano. The lamp hanging from ceiling is of La Granja de San Ildefonso' glass. The furniture in this hall are from era of Charles IV, built at the Royal Workshop, highlighting in them a fine marquetry work.

Gabinete de Porcelana

(Porcelain's room) Commissioned by Charles III, it is work by the Royal Porcelain Factory of the Buen Retiro in Madrid. It is a medium sized hall completely lined its walls and ceilings by plaques of white porcelain and reliefs with Rococo decoration of chinoiserie motifs (garlands of flowers, fruits, monkeys, vases, mandarins, parrots, samurais, birds and dragons). The ceramic plaques are attached to timber walls by screws. The floor is marble. Eight large mirrors against walls have a multiplier effect on this decorative madness. Interspersed with the above-described decoration, found human groups in everyday scenes. Of the center of ceiling arises a lamp taking the form of a palm while a Chinese with a hand fan and a monkey on his shoulders climbs the trunk. The fate of this room was a games room and playground. The ceramic plaques were made between 1760 and 1765 by the artist Giuseppe Gricci.

Dormitorio de la Reina

(Queen's bedroom) The dome is decorated with tempera frescoes by Zacarías González Velázquez with allegories of Science, Virtue, Art, Law and Monarchy. The centerpiece is the Isabel II style's bed a gift of the city of Barcelona to Queen Isabel II during her marriage to Francis of Asissi of Bourbon. The consoles are works by French cabinetmaker Daumier's workshop.

Tocador de la Reina

(Queen's boudoir) The walls of this room are covered with silk curtains of Valencian factories. The boudoir is of palo santo wood, with mirror on both sides and a chair with mother of pearl and gold inlaids. The furniture is of Isabel II, while the vault is painted by Vicente Camarón with representations of the four seasons.

Salón de Baile

(Ballroom) Serves as a dividing hall between the private rooms of King and Queen. The current furniture is of late-19th century Isabel II style decoration but is unrelated to the original furniture disappeared in a fire in late-19th century.

Comedor de gala

(Gala dining) it was conversation hall in Ferdinand VI's times, Charles III used it as a dining room. This gala dining, as the palace has several, has a vaulted ceiling painted around 1750 by Jacopo Amigoni during the reign of Ferdinand VI with a very complicated moralizing symbology. Thus see the figure of Time as old as some women around him and try to cut his wings so he can not flee. Truth as matron who discover angels while Wisdom pays homage. The Monarchy with its attributes and virtues (Justice, Religion, Bountiful, Bounty, Peace as an angel with an olive branch, Faith and Charity as a woman protecting children). It can also find a series of grisaille representing parts of the world where the Monarchy had possessions. Occasionally it was also used as a ballroom. The floor is Rococo style very good quality stucco, work by Carlos Antonio Bernasconi, representing military attributes, sheet music and musical instruments.

Dormitorio del Rey

(King's bedroom) The Empire style wooden bed is mahogany with bronze applications. The vault was frescoed by Jacopo Amigoni and Bartolomé Rusca highlighting in them allegories of Peace, Justice and Abundance made by Bartolomé Rusca. On the bed canvas of christ Cristo en la Cruz by Anton Raphael Mengs of 1761. Also a canvas of 1825 the Madonna and Child by José de Madrazo Agudo. This room adjoins a small hall has installed a toilet.

Salón de espejos

(Mirrors's room). So called Salón de espejos for being its walls decorated completely with mirrors from the La Granja de San Ildefonso's factory. The hall was used as a dressing of King Charles IV. The ceiling is frescoed in Pompeian style by Juan de Mata Duque around 1803.

Salón árabe

(Moorish room) Hall made for Queen Isabel II between 1847 and 1851, decorated with a Moorish fantasy (neo-Nasrid) based in mozarabs, similar to what find in the Sala de Dos Hermanas of the Alhambra in Granada. Work by Rafael Contreras Muñoz, is along with the Gabinete de Porcelana the two most admired sights of the palace. Its furniture consists of a porcelain central table and a bronze and crystal lamp. It was used as a smoking room mainly for men. The decoration of the walls is made of brightly colored plasterwork. Consort King Francis of Assisi of Bourbon born in this palace, Isabel II's husband, he whom Valle-Inclán once nicknamed "Paquito natillas que es de pasta flora, y mea en cuclillas como una señora" (Custard Franciscy is of flower pasta, and piss in squat like a lady) and that was true due he suffered of hypospadias, a urethra's malformation which had no outlet in the glans, but in the trunk of the penis, and this prevented him from urinating standing. Beside there was the popular rumor that he was homosexual, being routinely mocked for the people and many artists.[1]

Despacho del Rey

(King's office) Vault with frescoes of Pompeian style by Juan de Mata Duque with allegories of the Liberal Arts. Wooden of olive's desk decorated with bronze and marble. The Empire style furniture is made by Jacob Desmalter the Napoleon Bonaparte's cabinetmaker.

Sala de estudio del Rey

(King's study room) The Pompeian style vault painted by Juan de Mata Duque and the furniture is of Carlos IV style.

Sala China

(Chinese room) so named that why inside find a collection of two hundred and three small paintings that the Emperor of China gift to Queen Isabel II. Made with ink on rice paper. Depicting scenes from the court, parties, theater, animals etc. The vault was frescoed by Zacarías González Velázquez and represent mythological scenes in the roof's center and at both sides countryside scenes. From the ceiling hangs a globe lamp with chinoiserie motifs.

Sala de guardias del Rey

(King's guardroom) This hall is one of the oldest in the palace, it is built in the Philip II's time. It has six large paintings by Luca Giordano, three of biblical themes: The death of Absalom, David wearing the breastplate and Construction of Solomon's Temple and three other of military issues. The 18th-century chairs is in mahogany.

Paintings of the palace


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