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.[1] The palace is owned by the Spanish state and administered by a state agency named the Patrimonio Nacional (National Estate).

Zarzuela Palace
Palacio de la Zarzuela
Dmitry Medvedev in Spain 2 March 2009-5.jpg
Visit of the President of Russia to Spain at the Palace (2009)
General information
Architectural styleBaroque
Town or cityMadrid
Coordinates40°29′00″N 3°48′06″W / 40.48325°N 3.80165°W / 40.48325; -3.80165Coordinates: 40°29′00″N 3°48′06″W / 40.48325°N 3.80165°W / 40.48325; -3.80165
Current tenantsKing Philip VI and his family.
Construction started1627
OwnerPatrimonio Nacional
Design and construction
ArchitectJuan Gómez de Mora
Alonso Carbonel
Other designersDiego Méndez


During the 17th century, King Felipe IV of Spain ordered a country palace or hunting lodge to be built at La Zarzuela near Madrid.[1] 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.[2] It was a rectangular, slate-roofed building with two lateral arcades. King Carlos IV had the building altered[1] to adapt it to 18th century fashion, and adorned it with tapestries and porcelain, as well as furniture and his much-loved clocks.

Royal residenceEdit

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 Palacio Real (Royal Palace) in the centre of Madrid, the former principal residence of the Spanish monarchs, is the official residence of the King, although it is now used only for state occasions.[1]

During the summer of 2002, King Felipe VI, then Prince of Asturias, moved into a new residence, a 3,150 square metres (33,900 sq ft) palace built within the grounds of the Palace of La Zarzuela.[3]


The palace theatre was the place of origin of the Spanish genre of musical drama, zarzuela.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "Zarzuela Palace". Hello magazine. Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  2. ^ "Zarzuela a brief history". Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  3. ^ "Boda Real - Su casa (in Spanish)". Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  4. ^ Pedro Gómez Manzanares & Christopher Webber (26 July 2000). "Zarzuela a brief history". Retrieved 15 January 2009.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)

External linksEdit