La Zarzuela Palace
This palace, situated on Monte de El Pardo hill, on the outskirts of Madrid, has been the official residence of the Spanish monarchs since 1975.
In 1627 Philip IV commissioned the construction of this country palace or hunting lodge. The architect Juan Gómez de Mora designed a sober rectangular building, in the typical Baroque style from Madrid, inspired by the villas by Andrea Palladio. Alonso Carbonell finished it with slate roofing, arched galleries and an Italian garden with stepped fountains on three terraces, a vegetable garden and a tree nursery. The decorative sculptures were made by Bartolomé Zumbido, and the paintings are by Simón López.
At the end of the 18th century, Charles IV decorated it with tapestries, porcelain, lamps, furniture and 18th century clocks. After the Spanish Civil war, the architect Diego Méndez rebuilt it (1958), preserving its old structure and porticoed walls, and recreated the gardens designed by Gaspar Bandal in the 17th century.
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