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Aranjuez It is an excellent tourist destination if you plan to visit Spain. Very near Madrid, only 47 kilometers, you can get closer to knowing its architectural and cultural treasures. It rests on a valley, at the confluence of the Jarama and Tajo rivers, surrounded by beautiful hills and plateaus.

Aranjuez is very green, it has been inhabited for thousands of years, although it was not until the Middle Ages and with the Reconquest that it became more important, and it ended up being a place of relaxation and rest for the monarchy. Let’s see what to see in Aranjuez.

What to see in Aranjuez

We can’t help but start with royal palace which was built on the former teachers’ house of the Order of Santiago. This religious and military order was born in the 12th century in the Kingdom of León, with the aim of protecting the pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago and expelling Muslims from the entire peninsula. Later it was suppressed, restored and suppressed again, and today it survives as an honorary and religious noble organization.

Well, the Royal Palace It is in the Renaissance style., with bricks and limestone that make it two-tone, at this point something characteristic of the whole city. The project had several stages and the first was during the reign of Felipe II, in the 16th century. Later, under Felipe V, in the 18th century, the following steps were carried out. The Royal Palace open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. between October and March and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. between April and September.

The Royal Site has also beautiful gardens of different styles. For example, there is the king’s garden with numerous sculptures in the Romanesque style, the island garden with sources, the Parterre garden French style and prince’s garden which is the largest of all and of landscaped style, with its fountains, its islands, a Chinese basin and a small pleasure palace, the Casa del Labrador. There is also the Elizabeth II Garden in public use forever.

Aranjuez also has a large area of ​​land with tree-lined walks, groves, orchards and meadows and you can always see the most important hydraulic works which were made at the time to obtain water for the irrigation of all these places. We are talking about ditches, canals and dams that in addition to irrigation, at the time they also allowed water shows for the nobles, or to allow the navigability of the Tagus, to filter the water and activate the mills…


The framework of the walks has been thought out in advance, so they have also been designed squares, roundabouts and streets. The first order was in the Pico Tajo area and later along the river, although on the north bank there were not as many human hands involved and the typical vegetation is still visible today. today.


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The St. Anthony Square it is a mid-18th century beauty and was built to connect the palace complex with the new villa. The surrounding buildings are a treasure: for example, the Church of Saint Anthony of the same period, the House of Knights and Trades of the 16th and 17th centuries, where the men of the court resided, the children’s house or the Jardin d’Isabelle II that we named above. The Fountain Mariblanca it also protrudes at one end.

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obviously also there are several buildings dedicated to nobles. The crown ordered to build residences for his courtiers and employees, but there are also buildings built by professionals and traders. As a royal resting place, the kings were accompanied there by their court, so it was necessary to accommodate these people who were part of the entourage. For example, there is the Godoy Palace, the Palace of the Dukes of Osuna, the Medinaceli Palace, the House of the Duke of Acos or the Silvela Palace.

To the noble buildings are added the civil buildings Among these, we can name the Governor’s House, the House of Diego Agudo de Cevallos, the Parador del Rey or the House of Employees. In addition, there are buildings for use by the general population such as the San Carlos Hospital, Plaza de Toros, Mercado de Abastosthe station built already in the 20th century or the Royal Carlos III Theater.

To these noble and civil buildings are added religious buildings such as the Church of Alpajés, that of San Antonio, the Convent of San Pascual. Finally, thinking of the supply of the population of Aranjuez, during the reign of Carlos III the agricultural exploitation began: there are vineyards, olive trees, cereals, fruit trees and all constructions necessary for use, maintenance and operation.

The elegant Queen Mother’s Garage They were built in the 18th century and are next to Plaza de Abastos. It housed the stables, rooms and garages of Bárbara de Braganza, wife of King Ferdinand VI. They burned down under Napoleon’s rule and were restored until in 1985 they found their final destination: Isabella of Farnese Cultural Center with archives, a music school and a library.

The Royal Carlos III Theater It’s from the 18th century, it was a theater and a cinema and it closed in 1989, to reopen in 2014. You can come and see it. Does Aranjuez have any museums? Of course there is the Bullfighting Museum inside the arena, and the Royal Barge Museum, inside the Jardín del Príncipe, next to the pier. here you will see real pleasure boats they are a treasure. Something like gondolas: beautiful, decorated, refined, with reliefs and paintings.

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here the oldest and most elegant boat is that of Carlos II, from the 17th century, well golden and real. There is also the barge of Carlos IV, from the 19th century, built in Cartagena and with the royal coat of arms on the stern. The museum open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the ticket can be bought at the ticket office of the Palais Royal for 9euro. If you go there on a Wednesday or Sunday from 3 p.m. you don’t pay the entrance fee, the same on May 18 and 12.

As we said at the beginning Aranjuez is very close to Madrid so you can go there on your own. Of course, you can also sign up for a guided tour which lasts two hours and another slightly longer option, lasting two and a half hours. And a third very good option is to take a boat trip on the Tagus.

Finally, Aranjuez also celebrates festivals that you can enjoy: in May, the Craft fair, the traditional folk music festival of Aranjuez the second-hand and semi-new fair, the Feast of Saint Isidrp Labrador the day of San Fernando, the patron saint of the city and the Early Music Festival. Then there is the Book Fair, the Mutiny celebrations, Carnival, Holy Week…

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