Welcome to the palace! The General Directorate of Cultural Heritage celebrates this year 2020, between the months of September and December, the seventh edition of these guided tours of the palaces of Madrid.
They are not only visits, there are concerts and conferences that will allow Madrilenians, and everyone who comes to the Community, to enjoy an extraordinary selection of palaces in the region.
The Liria Palace, in the middle of Calle de la Princesa, in the Plaza de España, the jewel in the crown of the Casa de Alba. The current duke lives there. Its walls treasure historical documents, such as the will of Columbus.
Inhabited rooms, such as the Palacio de Liria – the jewel of the House of Alba, where the owner of the duchy and his family live – to others that are currently in the public administration, such as the Palace of the Duchess of Parcent, current headquarters of the Ministry of Justice, on San Vicente Ferrer street, in the heart of Malasaña.
The Palace of the Marquis of Villafranca, on Don Pedro Street, in La Latina, is one of the secrets that Madrid de los Austrias hides.
The history of these buildings is the history the region. And the history of Spain. Through these rooms have passed their main protagonists.
More than 55,000 people have participated in the six previous editions, encouraged by the possibility of visiting these spaces, access to which – either by private ownership or by use in public administration – is normally restricted. That’s why you cannot miss this opportunity.
In this year’s edition, the duration and number of places has been reduced due to the current health crisis, more than 6,000 places have been offered, and 17 palaces are participating and open their doors to publicize, free of charge, the cultural heritage that they guard.
Some news of this 2020 edition, it is worth highlighting the determined commitment to endow the concert cycle with a unitary character in which music and cultural heritage acquire a new joint dimension.
A wonderful cycle on the 250th anniversary of Beethoven´s birth, which focuses on the life and work of the Bonn composer through six new and innovative musical proposals.
But in this 2020, welcome to the palace! It also joins the commemoration of the Galdós Year –the Community of Madrid has a special program this year coordinated by Juan Carlos Pérez de la Fuente– a series of conferences of Galdós and the palaces of Madrid, in which the role of the aristocratic environment and the palaces of Madrid in his work, confronting the literary analysis with that of the cultural heritage.
All conferences will be freely available on the YouTube channel of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, with spanish subtitles to facilitate accessibility of the content.
The Palacio de Parcent, in the heart of Madrid, now belongs to the Ministry of Justice.
The Parcent Palace is one of them. It is the model of an urban palace with a characteristic rear garden from the 18th century, although its current building is the result of multiple interventions carried out by its owners during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Starting in 1728, the Marquise de Mejorada y de la Breña acquired a set of houses and land between the streets of San Bernardo, San Vicente and Espíritu Santo, with the aim of building her new residence in Madrid. In 1729 the construction of the Gabriel Valenciano palace began, a disciple of Pedro de Ribera. Around 1740, the marquisate joined that of Guadalcázar, and the palace remained practically unused, since its new owners resided in Córdoba. Gradually, the building deteriorated until, in 1846, the Madrid City Council demanded its repair due to the threat of ruin. This is only part of the history of this property, the rest awaits you in its rooms …
Another of the historical buildings that you can visit is the Buenavista Palace, is in Plaza de Cibeles, and is also linked to the Casa de Alba. The construction of this palace began in the 16th century, when the Archbishop of Toledo gave the property to King Felipe II when the Court moved from Valladolid to Madrid.
Felipe III received it as an inheritance from his father, and then had different owners. Isabel de Farnesio, mother of Carlos III, used it as a residence when she moved to Madrid in 1759. Then the Duke of Alba commissioned a palace project from the architect Ventura Rodríguez, but it was never carried out. In 1777, the Duchess of Alba delegated the demolition of the old palace and the construction of the current one to the architect Juan Pedro Arnal. Years later, it was bought by the Madrid City Council to give it to Manuel Godoy –valid of Carlos IV–, who invested a large sum of money in its fitting out and decoration; but it did not come after the Aranjuez mutiny in 1808. Today it is the headquarters of the General Headquarters of the Army.
The Palace of the Infante don Luis de Borbón, in Boadilla del Monte, with spectacular gardens, is another that can be visited.
These are just two examples, but there are many more. Palatial architecture is one of the least known heritages of the Community of Madrid. Don´t hesitate and take advantage of this December to give yourself this whim.