Post No. 11,231

Date uploaded in London – 1 SEPTEMBER 2022        

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I went to Madrid, capital of Spain , with my family on 26th August, 2022 and stayed there for three days. We went to the Royal Palace , the major tourist attraction of Madrid. It is huge and twice the size of Buckingham Palace in London. It took more than two hours to go through the building. In London they don’t allow you inside the palace. They allow you to only one hall or section every summer, through a highly priced ticket. In Madrid you buy a ticket and see thousands of treasures at one go.

There are 21 palaces, monasteries, and convents with huge gardens. More than 1,54,000 historic and artistic pieces are listed and most displayed. They allow photography only up to a point in the entrance section. Then your eyes are the cameras. I tried to buy a book with pictures, but only some important objects are covered in the book.

Official halls

Main staircase- families with children must stand in a long queue to use a small lift. Others have to walk through long steps. Good exercise! One should not miss the beautiful paintings on the ceilings. The royal family still lives in one part of the place complex. Depending upon one’s interests, one can spend hours looking at them. Various types of novel clocks, variety of porcelainwares, Chinaware and musical instruments are displayed. Each object would sell for millions of dollars in auction houses. So, every room has a staff with eagle eyes.

The huge collection and their maintenance in perfect condition show Spanish monarchy’s interest in the collection and patronage of art. Even now the palaces continue to host state ceremonies and visiting dignitaries. It has got over 3400 rooms. It is the largest functioning palace in Europe.

The palace has 500 year history. It was called Alcazar, that is the Moorish castle or fortress. Moors were Muslim tribes of north Africa who occupied Spain and Portugal from 8th century to 15th century. But new buildings were constructed 300 years ago.

After passing the staircase, we entered the Hall of Columns with Flemish tapestries and paintings of famous Spanish painters.

Then we see Chares III’ s Anteroom. This was the hall where the king had lunch and received ordinary audiences. The ministers come and greet the king before the meal; when he started eating, they retire to Prince’s room and greet him. Before king finish eating, they come back and stand. It took more than one hour according to a contemporary traveller who visited the palace in 1780s. During the meal king speaks only to Nuncio (Pope’s ambassador to government) who stood a few steps away from the king.

The portraits of famous painters which decorated the palace halls are now in Prado Museum in Madrid.

Then we see Antechamber or Conversation Room where the king had supper. The ambassadors meet the king here.

Chamber of Charles III or Gasparini Room is the hall where the king met special audiences. It is beautifully decorated. This is where the king dressed himself.

Novel clocks and huge chandeliers are seen in every room. Porcelain room has very big vases and cups.

We go to Yellow Room which owes its name to the drapes ordered by Ferdinand VII. He hung them there. Today the walls are covered by various tapestries.

Banqueting hall is very impressive and surprising for its length. The great hall was used for balls and gala dinners. Over 100 people can sit at this dining table.

The ‘Tram Car’ of Charles III

The long and narrow room received its current layout and name in 1880. It improved the access between the Gasparini Room and Banqueting Hall.

Silverware Room was the Queen’s Ante chamber. Though we can see lot of silver vessels there, they were not ancient. Joseph Bonaparte melted down the old set to face necessities of war.

Queens’ Antechambers, Throne room, Royal chapel and King’s Antechamber have golden decorations. Notables are Sphinx Table, Royal Crown and the throne. It is needless to say the Royal Chambers have golden look. Spanish and Portuguese plundered the gold from ancient Aztec and Inca civilisations. Unless the Europeans plundered and exploited the innocent and rich countries around the world, they would not have become major powers today.

If Europeans claim they are developed countries, one can say it happened with the blood and sweat and silver and gold of the innocent, peace loving, rich countries of Asia and South America (later they plundered South African diamonds and gold).


Tags- My visit, Spain, Madrid, Royal Palace

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