An excursion to El Pardo

By | 2 November, 2014 | 0 comments

Palacio de El PardoHistory knows no ideologies. We can visit a concentration camp without sympathising with the methods put into practice there. Discovering these places from up close can also help us understand the convulse century that was the 20th century. This century was shaped in Spain by the dictatorship of General Franco, whose residence was the Royal Palace of El Pardo. The rich heritage of the location, the usual winter residence for the Spanish royal family, justifies the visit but it is also worth it to see the lifestyle lead by the Spanish dictator and his armies.

The architectonic complex was Franco’s residence during his dictatorship that ran from 1939 until his death in 1975 and within its walls, decisions were made that shaped the future of Spain during all those decades. King Alfonso XII also lived in El Pardo and died there in 1885. Today, it has a mainly tourist function but it also hosts visits from foreign heads of state and senior international officials.

Part of its decorative value lies in the tapestries, many of them made on works by Goya, paintings, lamps and some of Franco’s everyday items such as his desk, bed or old TV, the first one that existed in Spain, brought from Italy years before the existence of Spain’s first TV station.

A visit to El Pardo comprises its palace, gardens and the Royal Chapel, all in a setting with beautiful landscapes that earned the place the category of Royal Site, as did other locations like La Granja de San Ildefonso, the monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial or the Palacio de Aranjuez.

The Palacio Real and the Gardens are open from 10.00am until 6.00pm, with tickets costing 9€ and including a tour guide. You can get there on bus 601 from Madrid and by car on the M-30 motorway, taking the exit signposted El Pardo M-605. On the 16th, 17th and 18th of November of 2014, the site will be closed.

Foto: Choniron via Wikimedia Commons. Licencia CC 3.0.

Categories: Madrid Turismo

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