Aranjuez: splendour in spring

By | 15 March, 2015 | 0 comments

Palacio AranjuezThe months before summer were those chosen by royal families in the 18th century and part of the 19th to enjoy the luxury of the Palace of Aranjuez. At first, the members of the Habsburg family stayed no more than a month in this royal home but stays became longer with King Felipe V and were of up to three months.

One of the kings who fell in love with Aranjuez the most was Fernando VI who, along with his wife Barbara of Portugal, organised sumptuous feasts during spring months. It was him in fact who ordered the construction of a town near the palace that housed the court, for which an urban plan was drawn up with streets flanked by trees for the new inhabitants: up to 700 families at the king’s service.

Entering this French-style palace with its famous pink stone is to feeling how everyday life was back in those placid times before the revolts of the famous mutiny, the Motín de Aranjuez in 1808. Large rooms that will stun the visitor predominate the palace, rooms from times in when something as simple as a corridor had not been invented yet. It is a Castilian-style Versailles that includes rooms of different styles such as the Arabic or Smoking room, which were ordered for decoration to one of the decorators of the Alhambra.

Another famous room is the Chinese room, where it’s impossible to find a single spot free of Asian motifs. Rococo decoration predominates along with many clocks and chaises-longues, as well as many paintings by Luca Giordano, who also painted many frescos in the Palacio del Buen Retiro.

There are many attractions in this privileged location, such as its wonderful gardens: the garden of Parterre, La Isla, El Príncipe and Isabel II are just some of them. The garden of El Príncipe is the largest of them all with 37 acres, and it has a large variety of trees, fountains, ponds and even a dock, ideal for a romantic stroll under the soft sun of April or May.

Accessing these gardens is completely free but tickets for the palace cost 9 euros, albeit with different discounts available. To get to this charming little village, the best thing to do is take the C-3 Cercanías regional train, with frequent services leaving Atocha station. From our hotel in Madrid centre, the easiest way there is to take the Cercanías regional train at Sol and change at Atocha. There are also buses of the Aisa and Samar companies that you can take at the Méndez Álvaro bus station.

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