Palace of Zarzuela
Palacio de la Zarzuela
Visit of the President of Russia to Spain at the Palace (2009)
|Town or city||Madrid|
|Current tenants||King Philip VI and his family.|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Juan Gómez de Mora|
|Other designers||Diego Méndez|
The Zarzuela Palace (Spanish: Palacio de la Zarzuela [paˈlaθjo ðe la θaɾˈθwela]) is the residence of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain 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 King Felipe VI and his family in a nearby mansion. The palace is owned by the Spanish State and administered by a state agency named the Patrimonio Nacional (National Estate).
During the 17th century, King Felipe IV of Spain ordered a country palace or hunting lodge to be built at La Zarzuela near Madrid. The name "Zarzuela" is thought to be derived from the word "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. It was a rectangular, slate-roofed building with two lateral arcades. King Charles IV had the building altered to adapt it to 18th century fashion, and adorned it with tapestries and porcelain, as well as furniture and his much-loved clocks.
King Juan Carlos I and his wife, Queen Sofía, have lived in the palace since their marriage in May 1962. After the death of Generalísimo Francisco Franco in November 1975, the King decided not to occupy his Palace of El Pardo, leaving it for foreign state guests, designating the Palacio de la Moncloa as the residence of the President of the Spanish Government, while they remained at the 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 used only for state occasions.