A route through the Renaissance palaces of Spain can be highly recommended. It is true that many of those listed here merge several styles. But in them, the Renaissance is quite evident.
One of Spain’s Renaissance palaces par excellence is the Palacio Real de Carlos V (“Royal Palace of Charles V”). After his wedding in Seville to Isabella of Portugal, King Charles I visits Granada and falls in love. There, in the heart of the Alhambra, he had his palace and future residence built. It symbolised the triumph of Christianity over Islam.
This royal palace in Madrid is situated on the Monte de El Pardo, to the north of the capital. It has almost 16,000 hectares of forest and is one of the royal palaces that belongs to the National Heritage. It was built in the 16th century, on the structure of a small castle that Charles I had built. Therefore, the current palace inherited the structure of the medieval castle, with towers at the corners and surrounded by a moat.
In addition, the monument stands out for its interior decoration, where tapestries by Goya or Bayeau can be seen. Since 1983 it has been used as a residence for foreign heads of state during their official visit to Spain.
León is also home to one of Spain’s Renaissance palaces. It is located in the heart of the city, next to other important buildings such as Gaudí‘s Palacio de Botines and the Old Town Hall. It belonged to the Guzmanes family, very powerful and influential. The palace was built by order of Juan de Quiñones y Guzmán, bishop of Calahorra.
The most outstanding feature of the Guzmanes Palace is its main façade where you can see a decorated 16th century door, flanked by Ionic columns and crowned with the statues of two soldiers with the family coat of arms.
The Monastery of Yuste is intimately linked to the figure of Charles V. This is where the king spent his last days. The Monastery, in the province of Cáceres, is made up of two clearly differentiated parts. On the one hand, the convent and, on the other, the residence of the emperor. The convent, in turn, is made up of the church, located in the centre, and two cloisters, one Gothic and the so-called new cloister.
The church and the Gothic cloister belong to the 15th century, while the other buildings are from the 16th century. This construction therefore merges late Gothic and Renaissance styles.
In Cáceres is another of Spain’s Renaissance palaces. It dates back to the 15th century, although its current style is due to the restorations that took place during the 16th and early 17th centuries. Its history is linked to the Aztecs, specifically to Isabel de Moctezuma. She was a princess who married the Cáceres captain Juan Cano Saavedra, whom she met in America when she joined the ranks of Hernán Cortes.
The small town of Cadalso de los Vidrios in the Community of Madrid has a Renaissance style palace. The palace and gardens of Villena have been declared Cultural Assets. It was built by Don Álvaro de Luna (1390-1453), a favourite of the Castilian King John II. In the gardens we can see a magnificent pond from the palace garden. The gardens have been converted into a municipal park, but the palace cannot be visited as it is a private residence.
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