The Riofrío Palace

The Riofrío Palace

The Royal Palace of Riofrío is one of the residences of the Spanish Royal Family, managed by the National Heritage body, which administers the State assets at the service of the Crown.

The construction of the Palace of Riofrio, is due to the initiative of Isabel de Farnesio, second wife of Felipe V, who already reigning his stepson, Fernando VI, fearing to be deprived of the Palace and Gardens of La Granja, the 19 of June of 1751 bought to the Marquis de Paredes the meadow and round preserve of Riofrio, where from the following year he built the Palace of the same name, there existing and which, at present, is part of the National Heritage.

In 1759, after the death of Fernando VI, he was called to exercise the regency and his project to make in Riofrío a "real site" similar to that of La Granja, is relegated. Despite its large size, the Riofrío Palace becomes a hunting lodge.

Except for the brief stay of Alfonso XII, in the summer of 1878, who chooses this sober place to spend the duel for the death of his wife María Mercedes, has been used only as a place to stay for a few hunting days.

It was built according to Virgilio Rabaglio's project in 1752 and the exterior decoration was commissioned by Pedro Sexmini, which makes this monument a center of clear Italian connotations.

Unlike what happens with most Spanish Palaces, Riofrío is austere, sober, far from the forms of the Baroque. Some scholars believe that it resembles the simplicity of St. Peter's Square in the Vatican.

However, inside we find one of the most important examples of baroque architecture in Spain, its main staircase, which in turn consists of two stairs that start from a hall in opposite paths, offering a beautiful show.

The Riofrío Palace now houses a Hunting Museum. Of having to exist a museum dedicated to this ancestral activity, this will probably be the appropriate place for it, due to the great fondness of Isabel de Farnesio, promoter of the construction of the palace and of his son the infant Don Luis and the amount of fauna avenues that contains the forest that surrounds it.

It is a complete review of the entire historical process of hunting, from primitive times to modern times, and presents many animals resulting from a perfect taxidermist work.

His artistic decoration is overflowing: paintings of the great masters, such as Velázquez, Rubens, Giusseppe Bonito, Toribio Alvarez; 18th century tapestries of the Royal Factory of Santa Bárbara; sculptures, furniture and ancient weapons of incalculable historical value. - Tel. 921 48 01 42.

To get to know the environment from a natural and scenic point of view, the visitor has the possibility to visit the CENEAM visitor reception centers and the Valle de Valsaín-Boca del Asno Visitor Center, where you can also have multiple information about routes that can be done through the Montes de Valsaín.