The Palacio Real de Madrid (The Royal Palace of Madrid) is the official residence of the King of Spain in the city of Madrid, but it is only used for state ceremonies. King Juan Carlos and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace, choosing instead the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid. The palace is owned by the Spanish State and administered by the Patrimonio Nacional, a public agency of the Ministry of the Presidency. The palace is located on Bailén Street, in the Western part of downtown Madrid, East of the Manzanares River, and is accessible from the Ópera metro station. The palace is partially open to public, except when it is being used for official business.
Another name used to refer to the building is the “Palacio de Oriente” (The Orient Palace).This name originates from a square on one side of the palace, the Plaza de Oriente, which also houses the Teatro Real. The last monarch who lived continuously in the palace was Alfonso XIII, although Manuel Azaña, president of the Second Republic, also inhabited on it, making him the last head of state to do so. During that period the palace was known as “Palacio Nacional”. There is still a room next to the Real Capilla, which is known by the name “Office of Azaña”. The interior of the palace is notable for its wealth of art, in regards to the use of all kinds of fine materials in its construction and the decoration of its rooms with artwork of all kinds, including paintings by artists such as Caravaggio, Velázquezand Francisco de Goya and frescoes by Corrado Giaquinto, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Anton Raphael Mengs. Other collections of great historical and artistic importance that are preserved in the building are the Royal Armoury, Porcelain, Watches, Furniture and Silverware. Currently, the Patrimonio Nacional, an autonomous body under the Ministry of the Presidency, manages the care of public property in the service of the Crown, including the Royal Palace.
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