All You Need to Know About Liria Palace

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The home of the Alba Family, a vital family in Spain’s history, Liria Palace is an 18th-century neoclassical building with an extensive art collection. This is your guide to the palace.

Quick Guide to Liria Palace

Liria Palace Quick Guide

Also Known As: Royal Palace's little brother

Location: C. de la Princesa, 20, 28008 Madrid, Spain

Established: Between 1767 and 1785

Architect: Louis Guilbert and Ventura Rodriguez

Architectural Style: Neoclassical

Number of Visitors Per Year: Thousands

Why is Liria Palace Famous?

  • Historical Site: The Liria Palace was built towards the end of the 18th century, making it over three centuries old. It holds tremendous historical value, showcasing Spain’s heritage and the importance of the Alba Family to the country’s rise.
  • An Architectural Wonder: Designed by architects Louis Guilbert and Ventura Rodriguez, the Liria Palace is an example of neoclassical architecture. The palace has grand facades and opulent interior spaces.
  • Home to Incredible Art Collections: Art has been a part of the Alba Family's lives. Every member collected art pieces that resonated with them, culminating in a marvellous art collection open to visitors. Francisco de Goya's portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Alba, Diego Velázquez's painting of Saint Anthony of Padua, and transformative works by Rubens, Titian, and Raphael are part of the collections.
  • Houses a Massive Library: Visitors to the Liria Palace can also explore the library, containing over 20,000 volumes, including rare manuscripts and first editions.
  • Open to the Public: Once a private residence, the Liria Palace is open to the public. You can explore all areas of the palace, including the private bedrooms and galleries of the Albas.

History of Liria Palace In A Nutshell

1767 to 1785 - Renowned Spanish architect Ventura Rodríguez replaced Louis Guilbert as the chief architect of the Liria Palace. He created the neoclassical palace on the orders of the third Duke of Berwick and Liria, Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart y Colón.

1833 - A fire broke out in the palace, destroying some of its archives.

1936 - During the Spanish Civil War, Liria Palace was damaged by another fire, leaving only the outer walls standing. Fortunately, most of the art collections were rescued and safely added to the British Embassy, the Prado Museum and the Bank of Spain.

Post the Civil War - Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart, 17th Duke of Alba, and his daughter Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, 18th Duchess of Alba, commissioned the palace’s reconstruction. English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens was tasked with the restoration. However, he died before work could begin, with Manuel Cabanyes taking over as chief architect. He built on Lutyens’ original plans but added his touches to the main staircase, the chapel and the hall.

Present Day - Liria Palace is the home of the 19th Duke of Alba, Carlos Fitz-James Stuart, and the headquarters of the Casa de Alba Foundation.

Who Built Liria Palace?

Ventura Rodríguez left a lasting mark on Liria Palace. His neoclassical palace design is a massive attraction for tourists, who’re amazed by the quality, depth, and beauty of his work. The chapel of the Royal Palace in Madrid, Cuenca Cathedral’s altar, and the remodelling of the Pilar Basilica in Zaragoza represent Rodríguez’s other popular works.

Architecture & Design of Liria Palace

The Liria Palace was built in the 18th century in a neoclassical fashion. It is one of Madrid’s architectural gems, designed in a rectangular shape by Ventura Rodriguez.

The palace has four floors, each housing different types of rooms like offices, study, library, etc. The Great Hall, the Library, the Stuart Room, Empress Room, and the Grand Duke Room are the most popular rooms, giving a peek into royal life. Liria Palace’s facade features a grand entrance with four colossal Corinthian columns, leading to a large central courtyard decorated with classical sculptures.

What To Do At Liria Palace?

Liria Palace is one of Madrid’s special attractions. It offers insight into the royal life of the Alba family and introduces you to the architectural might of Spanish architects.

Liria Palace - Ballroom

The Ballroom

The Ballroom inside Liria Palace once hosted royal parties and societal events. Dukes, Duchess, and members of the Spanish Royal Family danced and celebrated through the evenings. Today, it remains deserted but has huge portraits of the royal family members and a beautiful chandelier.

Liria Palace - Dining Room

The Dining Room

The Dining Room was where the Alba Family members dined and enjoyed each other’s company. While the palace is inhabited, the Dining Room is still used for family meals. The four Gobelin tapestries showing the New Indian series are highlights of this room.

Themed Rooms - Liria Palace

The Themed Rooms

The Theme Rooms in Liria Palace contain unique collections of paintings, sculptures, tapestries, furniture, books, and large sets of porcelain. The palace has nine different themed rooms, including the Italian, Spanish, and Goya Rooms. Paintings and works by artists like Goya, Velázquez, El Greco, Jan Brueghel the Elder, and Winterhalter are a few highlights in the rooms.

Liria Palace Library

The Library

Liria Palace’s Library is a valuable source of ancient knowledge and historical information. It contains over 18,000 books and prints, including the first edition of Don Quixote and the largest collection of manuscripts by Christopher Columbus.

Liria Palace - Great Hall and Staircase

The Great Hall & Staircase

Liria Palace’s neoclassical hallway hits you with amazement as you enter the palace. It was remodelled after the 1936 fire, with the other rooms designed similarly. The palace’s staircase is equally attractive, featuring a sculpture of Aphrodite.

Liria Palace - Art Collections

Liria Palace’s Art Collections

The Alba Family were renowned for their love of art. Inside the palace, you’ll find an extensive art collection featuring paintings and sculptures by Francisco de Goya, Diego Velázquez, and other artists of the age.

More about Liria Palace

Liria Palace

Is Liria Palace a UNESCO World Heritage Site?

Liria Palace is a famous tourist destination in Madrid but isn’t a World Heritage Site yet. Fortunately, it is close to several World Heritage Sites in Madrid, such as the Paseo del Prado.

The historical boulevard is three kilometres from Liria Palace and is home to renowned museums and cultural spaces, like the Prado Museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, CaixaForum Madrid, and the Royal Botanical Garden. Liria Palace is also close to El Retiro Park, one of Madrid’s largest parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Additional Information About Liria Palace

Spanish romantic painter Francisco de Goya and Doña María de Pilar Teresa Cayetana de Silva Álvarez de Toledo (1761-1802), the 12th Duchess of Alba, shared one of the most popular love affairs in Spanish history. She was Goya’s muse, and their story served as gossip back in the day.

Goya did several paintings featuring the Duchess, including ‘The White Duchess,’ part of Liria Palace’s stunning collection.

Frequently Asked Questions About Liria Palace in Madrid

What is Liria Palace?

Liria Palace is a neoclassical palace in Madrid. It serves as the residence of the Alba Family.

Why is the Liria Palace famous?

Liria Palace is famous because it is the home of the Alba Family, a renowned and historical family in Spain.

How much are Liria Palace tickets?

Liria Palace tickets start from €18.

What can I do at Liria Palace?

You can explore the Great Hall & Staircase, the Ballroom, and artworks inside Liria Palace

Who designed Liria Palace?

Renowned Spanish architect Ventura Rodríguez designed Liria Palace.

When was Liria Palace built?

Liria Palace was built between 1767 to 1785.

Where is Liria Palace located?

Liria Palace is at C. de la Princesa, 20, 28008 Madrid, Spain.

How can I get to Liria Palace?

You can reach Liria Palace by metro, bus, Cercanías (local train), and car.

What are Liria Palace's timings?

Here are the times to visit Liria Palace: Monday - 10:15 AM to 12:30 PM, Tuesday to Friday - 10:15 AM to 12:30 PM, 4:15 PM to 6 PM, Saturday, Sunday, and Bank Holidays - 9:45 AM to 12 PM, 3:45 PM to 5:30 PM.