The charming, older part of Madrid is dominated by numerous monumental and magnificent buildings including, most notably, the wonderful Palacio Real or 'Royal Palace of Madrid'. A harmonious and elegantly designed facade opens onto the Plaza De Oriente. This was formerly the location of numerous buildings: originally, the Moors built an Alcazar here, in the course of time, it was transformed into the main palace of the Hapsburg royal family that once reigned over the country.
The magnificent halls of the palace are breathtaking. The hall in the Comedor De Gala, 'Gala Dining Room', contains the most beautiful, grandiose chandeliers and the ceiling fresco painted by Anton Raphael Mengs. The Throne room ceiling frescos is by Gianbattista Tiepolo.
Even though the royal family no longer resides in the palace, it is still a much-prized historic jewel in the Spanish crown.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.