The Royal Palace: Spanish Monarchy

Written By:  Julia Wadolkowski ’26 (Session 2)

This Friday, we took a class trip to tour the Palacio Real, or Royal Palace. I had passed the palace a few times already just on walks with my friends, but I couldn’t wait to actually see the inside and learn all about its significance, both past and present.

The palace had originally been a Moorish fortress used to protect Toledo, but was slowly turned into a castle by the Kings of Castile. Charles III was the first monarch to live in the palace, and later Philip V led the renovation of the fortress to better match the decorative qualities of Versailles, where he grew up. The entire former alcázar was destroyed by a Christmas Eve fire in 1734, which allowed for the castle to be reconstructed into what we see now

The castle as it stands now is nothing short of incredible. Upon entering the main room, you look up to see the gorgeous fresco of Religion Created by Spain, created by Corrado Giaquinto, which immediately sets the tone of the grandeur of the rest of the palace. The rest of the palace was exquisitely decorated, with extreme detailing of different themes using plaster, paintings, and porcelain on the walls and ceilings in each room. 

Currently, the palace is not lived in by the royal family. The family is part of the House of Bourbon, which stems from France. The current royal family includes King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia, and their two daughters Leonor and Sofía; Leonor is the Princess of Asturias and Sofia is the Infanta of Spain. Now, the palace is used as a tourist attraction and for state ceremonies. 

My personal favorite part was all the amazing paintings, which included some by famous artists such as Goya and Velazquez. Overall, visiting the palace was an amazing experience; it is so majestic and beautifully decorated that you could stand there and stare at each room for hours, and it will definitely be one of my favorite memories.

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