The Royal Palace of El Pardo
() is a historical building near Madrid
, in the present-day district of Fuencarral-El Pardo
. Owned by the Spanish state and administered by the Patrimonio Nacional
agency, the palace began as a hunting lodge.
It became an alternative residence of the kings of Spain until Alfonso XII
, who died in the palace in 1885.
King Henry III of Castile
ordered the building of the pavilion in 1406, on Mount El Pardo, because of its abundant game. Later, in the time of Charles V
(1547), it was transformed into a palace. On 13 March 1604, a massive fire destroyed many of the paintings, including masterpieces by Titian
. Charles III
renovated the building in the 18th century, appointing his architect Francesco Sabatini
for the job. It was newly transformed in the 20th century, doubling its size by repeating to the east its original structure.
The interior decoration includes a ceiling frescoed by Gaspar Becerra
, and paintings by Vincenzo Carducci
In 1739 the palace hosted talks between the governments of Britain
and Spain, who eventually agreed the Convention of Pardo
in a bid to avert a war. However, the Convention failed to prevent war breaking out shortly afterwards
lived in the palace after the Spanish Civil War
. After Franco's death, it has been used as a residence for visiting heads of state
The Palace of Zarzuela
forms part of the complex of residences at the site.