Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Madrid Nights - Palacio in the Rain

Though the Christmas the lights give Madrid an added glow, it is a city known for the illumination of its streets and buildings. I've heard but can't confirm that it was one of the first, if not the first, European city to light its public buildings at night.

The area around Palacio Real was particularly beautiful even in the rain which fell off and on during a late evening stroll through the area. The lighting here is not the festive creations of Via Gran or Puerta del Sol but has a more romantic - dare I say almost Goyaesque quality - particularly with scuttling clouds and a damp mist.

The Plaza de Oriente is a wide promenade that joins the Teatro Real to the Palazzo Reale grounds. Pride of place in the Plaza is given to Carlos III, who was responsible for much of the remodelling that turned the palace into its present state.
Unusual for the capital of a Catholic country Madrid had no cathedral until construction was begun in 1879 on the Almundena. The cathedral was not completed until 1993 and though the exterior is in harmony with the palace across from it the interior is eclectic and extremely modern. Frankly I found it more imposing at night than during the day.
The largest palace in Europe, the Palacio Real is an impressive structure but it is not difficult to see why the King and his family have chosen to live in a smaller Palace. It may just be the romantic in me but I find that top photo has that brooding quality that I associate with Spanish history.

12 gennaio - Sant'Etelredo di Rievaulx


sageweb said...

I have been there..although your pictures are way better than mine.

Sling said...

I love the moody atmosphere of your photos!

Elizabeth said...

I don't know, it looks like the perfect home to me ... for the grand high inquisitor! Seriously, plotting evil plots or roller skating down the halls a la Lady Di would be the only things to do in such a place.

That low-angle shot - with the empty plaza below and the grey clouds above surrounding the bright blank face of the palace - really expresses that.


i love these..so beautiful..