The Palacio Real de Madrid or the Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the King of Spain in the city of Madrid. However, the Royal family prefers to stay in Palacio de la Zarzuela and this palace is only used for state ceremonies. Located on Bailén Street in the Western part of downtown Madrid, the palace can be reached via the Ópera metro station.
The palace spans over a huge area of about 135,000 square metres (1,450,000 sq ft) and has 2800 rooms. It is the largest palace in Europe by floor area. The interior of the palace is enriched by artwork and paintings by artists such as Caravaggio, Velázquez and Francisco de Goya and frescoes by Corrado Giaquinto, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Anton Raphael Mengs. The palace also takes pride in its artistic collections of the Royal Armoury, Porcelain, Watches, Furniture and Silverware.
The main facade of the Palace is also adorned with a series of statues of saints and kings. The Almudena Cathedral faces the palace across the square. Its exterior is neo-classical to match its surroundings while its interior is neo-gothic.
The Central Gardens are arranged around the central monument to Philip IV, in a grid, following the barroque model garden. They consist of seven flowerbeds, each packed with box hedges, forms of cypress, yew and magnolia of small size, and flower plantations, temporary. These are bounded on either side by rows of statues paths, popularly known as the Gothic kings, acting as line of division of the other two quadrants.
Located on the north side, between the Royal Palace, the calle de Bailén and the cuesta de San Vicente lie the Sabatini gardens which are adorned with a pond around which place some of the statues of Spanish kings who were originally intended to crown the Royal Palace. Geometrically sited between its rides, there are several fountains.