Saturday, 3 December 2016

Royal Palaces in the Snow: Palacio Real, Madrid

It's a rare sight but a beautiful one - the Palacio Real, Madrid in the snow
(pictureLuis García [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

It's not the royal building most associated with snow but when the Palacio Real in Madrid is decked in flakes, it's a thing of wonder. And just as likely to get us all in the festive spirit as any other. As the countdown to Christmas continues, December 3rd is all about snowfall at the Palacio Real in Madrid.

(Palacio Real CC BY-SA 3.0  Link)

The Palacio Real is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family but is only used for official events with the royals living in the Zarzuela Palace on the outskirts of Madrid. 

(photo credit: By Gonzalo Alzamora Puente, CC BY 2.0, Link)

There has been a fortress or palace on this site since the 9th century but the present building, with its baroque facade, was built between 1738 ad 1755 by the previous King of Spain called Felipe. Despite being commissioned by Felipe V, the first monarch to live there was Charles III. Felipe VI's great great grandfather, Alfonso XIII, was the last king to reside permanently within its grey walls.

The Palacio Real occupies 1, 450, 000 square feet covering 3, 418 rooms making it the largest royal residence in Europe right now. It is surrounded by gardens and squares which look just as pretty when the really cold weather makes its occasional appearance in Madrid. It's a Christmas card in the making, the Palacio Real in the snow.

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