The palaces of Madrid endow the capital with an important historic, artistic, and cultural value. Known by all is the Royal Palace, but many others go unnoticed by the residents of the city. One of the reasons for this is that they have been converted into sites that house various institutions, both public and private, limiting their accessibility as if their ancient residents still lived there. Today, we want to make a record of 5 palaces that deserve our attention. Care to join us?
We begin with the Italian Embassy, delighting us with the building constructed by the architect Joaquín Rojí for the marquis of Amboage. This building was under construction from 1914 to 1917, with the end result being this palace with influences from the French style that mixes Rococo and Neo-Baroque details. During the Guerra, this building housed the headquarters of the Ayuntamiento de Madrid (Council of Madrid), and in 1940 it was acquired by the Italian State for their diplomatic headquarters in Spain. Inside, one will find many works of art donated by multiple artistic institutions of Italy.
Palacio del Marqués de Fontalba
In the Paseo de la Castellana (Path of the Castilian), we find the current Sede de la Fiscalía General del Estado (Seat of the General Prosecutors of the State) in the building designed in 1911 by José María Mendoza. This palace was converted into an example of the residences of the noble bourgeois during the restoration. Take note of its beautiful façade, the two levels of neo-plasteresque cloisters, and its stained glass skylight that allows light to pour in from the ceiling. It is not surprising that in 1914 it received the award of the most striking building of the year.
Palacio del Marqués de Salamanca
In the middle of the 19th century, the Marquis of Salamanca decided to construct a building in an area that, at the time, was suburban. We are talking about what is now the Paseo de Recoletos. One could say that this building, supported by the “Plan Castro” (a certain design of the city), is the seed of the Salamanca neighborhood and one of the most prized palaces of Madrid. The building was designed by the architect Narciso Pascual y Colomer, who was very famous at the time, and it was finished in 1858. It is currently the seat of the bank.
The SGAE (General Society of Authors and Editors) has the luxury of having its headquarters in one of the little Modernist gems that is conserved in Madrid. The building is the work of José Grases Riera, and it was built in 1902-1904 at the request of Javier González Longoria. Its ornamented façade leaves no one indifferent, and neither does the impressive cupola of iron and glass that sits atop the building.
Buenavista is one of the most well-known palaces in Madrid. The construction of the actual building dates back to 1777 and comes from the hands of Juan Pedro Arnal at the request of 13th duchess of Alba, Cayetana. Since 1816, it has been associated with the military and occupied distinct functions until it was converted into the current Cuartel General del Ejército de Tierra (The general quarters of the military of Spain). It features a series of rooms that conserve history, the remembrances, and the importance of people who lived here (Esparto, Prim, Primo de Rivera, Manuel Azaña…). In its interior you can see rich collections of tapestries and rugs of the Royal Fabric of Santa Bárbara, among other pieces of great artistic value.