Palace of Zarzuela

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File:Dmitry Medvedev in Spain 2 March 2009-5.jpg
King Juan Carlos and the prince of Asturias with Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, and their wives, at the Zarzuela palace in 2009

Zarzuela Palace (Template:Lang-es, Template:IPA-es) is the de-facto residence of King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Sofia and their family. The palace is on the outskirts of Madrid, near the Royal Palace of El Pardo. The complex also houses the official residence of the Prince and Princess of Asturias in a nearby mansion.<ref name=hello>Template:Cite news</ref> The palace is owned by the Spanish State and administered by a state agency called Patrimonio Nacional (National Heritage).

Construction

During the 17th century, King Philip IV ordered a country palace or hunting lodge to be built at La Zarzuela near Madrid.<ref name=hello /> It was a rectangular, slate-roofed building with two lateral arcades. Carlos IV carried out alterations to the building<ref name=hello /> to adapt it to 18th century taste, and adorned it with tapestries and porcelain, as well as furniture and his much-loved clocks.

Royal residence

The King and Queen of Spain have lived in the palace since their marriage in 1962. After the death of Francisco Franco in 1975, the King and Queen decided not to occupy his El Pardo Palace, leaving it for foreign state guests, designating the Moncloa Palace as the residence of the President of the Spanish Government, while they remained at Zarzuela. The Royal Palace in the centre of Madrid, the former principal residence of the Spanish kings, is the official residence of the King, although it is only used for state occasions.<ref name=hello />

In summer 2002, The Prince of Asturias moved into a new residence, a 3,150 m² palace built within La Zarzuela Palace's grounds.

Opera

The palace theatre was the birthplace of the Spanish operetta style, zarzuela. "Zarzuela" is thought to be derived from "zarzas" meaning brambles, due to its function as a hunting lodge meaning that it is situated amongst the brambles of the King's Hunting Grounds.

References

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External links

Template:Spanish royal sites

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