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Palacio Real (Royal Palace)
The Royal Palace in the Old Town is a Neoclassical masterpiece built by Italian architects Juvarra and Sacchetti. Inside is a maze of lavishly decorated chambers. Highlights include ceiling frescoes by Mengs and Tiepelo and Goya's brutally honest royal portraits.
The Palace (Palacio Real) is the official residence of the King of Spain as well as being the venue for state ceremonies and exhibitions. The Neoclassical building claims more rooms than any other European palace: a library with one of the biggest collections of books, manuscripts, maps and musical scores in the world; an armoury with an unrivalled collection of weapons dating back to the 13th century and an original pharmacy - a curious mixture of alchemist's den and early laboratory.
It is an artistic treasure trove too, with dozens of Flemish and Spanish tapestries, gilded Rococo decoration, bejewelled clocks and pompous portraits of monarchs and paintings by Old Masters such as El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Rubens and Caravaggio.
Please note, the parts of the palace that are open to the public sometimes close for official ceremonies and on some public holidays.
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