Spain is a country full with natural beauty and stunning scenery.
Its many spectacular palaces will stun you with their architecture and rich history, some of which were built centuries ago during Spain’s Siglo de Oro, or “Golden Period,” when Spanish art, literature, and culture flourished.
Here are my top recommendations for Spain’s most gorgeous palaces, each with its own distinct features, grandeur, and mysteries that will not disappoint!
1. The Alhambra Palace, Granada
The Alhambra, located on a hill in the southern section of Granada, is one of Spain’s most famous palaces. It draws visitors from all around the world. The construction of this historical site began in the 13th century, when Granada was the capital of the Islamic Kingdom.
The Lion Palace, erected in the 14th century and used to host official functions such as embassy receptions, adds to the majesty of the Alhambra.
2. El Escorial, Madrid
El Escorial was erected by King Philip II in the 16th century and is a well-known icon of the Spanish monarchy.
The palace, a monastery, a library, and a museum are all part of the Escorial complex. El Escorial is a one-of-a-kind destination due to its remarkable combination of religious and regal architecture. El Escorial was built by King Philip II to commemorate his victory over French forces at the Battle of Saint Quentin.
That was a significant event for Spain, and Philip desired to construct a palace that reflected his glory and authority. El Escorial is a royal burial ground in Spain, and numerous graves can be visited, including those of King Philip II and his son Don Carlos.
El Escorial is a massive Gothic and Renaissance-style structure. Several works of art, such as paintings, sculptures, and engravings, may be found inside the palace.
3. Palacio de Carlos V (The Generalife), Granada
A splendid palace built in the 16th century as a residence for Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, is located in the historic heart of Granada, not far from the Alhambra.
Over the years, the palace has held royal parties and festivities and is decorated with sumptuous murals, tapestries, and patterned carpets that mix Moorish and Renaissance art.
See the Hall of Ambassadors, one of the most impressive halls in the palace, which is covered with stunning frescoes depicting biblical scenes as well as Spanish history.
Another noteworthy chamber is Hall Aben-Abdallah, which is decorated in a Moorish style with magnificent ceramic tiles.
4. Royal Testamentary Palace of Isabel the Catholic, Valladolid
The Catholic monarchs Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon lived in this palace in the 15th century. Its unusual and appealing architectural components incorporate Moorish, Gothic, and Renaissance elements.
Magnificent rooms embellished with ceramic tiles, wood sculptures, and sumptuous fabrics will awe you. To enjoy a wonderful view, it is recommended to visit its patio courtyard, which is filled with plants and fountains.
You can also visit the Ferdinand and Isabella Museum, the Inquisition Museum, and the Archaeological Museum. This “little bit of Spanish history” is definitely worth seeing.
5. Palacio de la Merced, Cordoba
For many years, the Counts of Cordoba lived at the Palace de la Merced. It wasn’t until 1973 that it became the provincial government’s headquarters.
This majestic mansion, built in the classical style, is embellished with rich embellishments such as cornices, columns, and reliefs. Within, there are magnificent halls with wood carvings, gold plasterwork, and mosaics.
There’s even a beautiful inner courtyard with a fountain and a terrace with views of the cityscape below!
Several popular attractions are nearby Palace de la Merced, including The Cathedral of Cordoba, Alcázar de los Reyes Cristos, and Capilla de Santa Maria de la Mezquita.
6. Liria Palace, Madrid
It was constructed in the 18th century. Unlike other palaces in Madrid at the time, which were erected around the Paseo del Prado street, the Palacio de Liria is located on the outskirts of the city and along the French way, i.e., between gardens.
It was designed by numerous architects and completed by the legendary Ventura Rodriguez. It is one of the most important neoclassical buildings in Madrid, and some experts believe it is the only one that can coexist with the Royal Palace.
One of the 14 rooms available for viewing is particularly noteworthy. The library, which has green and gold walls and a crimson carpet on the floor, has nearly 18,000 books and manuscripts.
7. Royal Palace of Madrid
The Royal Palace of Madrid, built in the 18th century, is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family. However, because the monarchs of Spain dwell in the Zarzuela Palace, it is only utilized for banquets, ceremonies, and formal acts.
It is also known as the Palace de Oriente since one of its façade faces the Plaza de Oriente.
The palace’s origins may be traced back to the ninth century, when the Muslim kingdom of Toledo constructed a defensive structure that was later utilized by the monarchs of Castile and upon which the Old Alcazar was built in the sixteenth century.
There are 870 windows, 240 balconies, and 44 staircases in its 538,000 square feet (50,000 square meters). All of these figures combine to make the Palacio Real de Madrid the largest palace in Western Europe.
8. Royal Palace of Aranjuez
One of the most fascinating excursions from Madrid is a visit to the Royal House of Aranjuez and its gardens, which are located in the Royal Site of Aranjuez on the banks of the Tagus River. This grand palace and its gorgeous grounds, designated a Unesco World Heritage Site, will undoubtedly remind you of Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, one of the world’s most beloved musical masterpieces.
9. Palace of Santa Cruz, Madrid
Palace de Santa Cruz, located in the centre of Madrid, is one of the city’s most noteworthy structures.
It was built in the 17th century and features a stunning combination of Spanish Baroque and Gothic architecture known as the Herrerian style.
You will see magnificently decorated chambers with excellent frescoes and paintings by well-known artists such as Velázquez, Goya, and Ribalta.
Don’t miss the Golden Hall, which has an eye-catching gold decorum and another series of magnificent frescoes! There’s also a museum loaded with artifacts from Spain and Madrid’s past.
10. Palacio de Monterrey, Salamanca
The Palacio de Monterrey, built in the early 16th century as the palace of the dukes of Alba, one of the wealthiest families at the time, incorporated Gothic and Renaissance architectural elements.
Palace de Monterrey features 12 rooms and stunning hallways filled with wood carvings, as well as paintings and engravings.
It is recommended that you also visit the famed Tapestries Hall on the second story of the structure, which is covered with original Flemish tapestries and is one of the most magnificent rooms in the Monterrey Palace.