Spanish version


Princess Isabel´s Palace

The Building entrance to the palace

When King Alfonso XIII came out of age, Princess Isabel, his aunt, decided the time had come for her to let the new generation continue alone. She had always lived in the Royal Palace and now she started looking for a new home. Finally, in 1900, she bought a palace located at Quintana 7, in Argüelles area. The building had belonged to Count of Cerrajeria. It was built in 1886.

Enrique Repulles y Vargas, Mayor Architect of the Royal Household was in charge of the redesign. Following her wishes, the interior was redecorated by Spanish artists. "La Chata" lived in this palace from 1902 until 1931, when she left the country with her whole family.

King Alfonso XIII went into exile to France. She was already very sick and in fact died 5 days after having left Madrid.

During the Civil War the palace was occupied by military forces of both parties. Some rooms were even destroyed and it was almost complety abandoned until 1942, when the Air Force bought the building. Since then it has been occupied by a Department of the Airforce Headquarter. Thanks to this fact, the interior and the original paintings on the ceilings were restored. Unfortunately the original furniture has disappeared. The doors, bronze lamps and radiators are the original ones.

The façade of the building, in red brick and stone, has two towers on both ends. The palace has two floors and a surface of nearly 4.000 square meters.

It is built with a rectangular form surrounding a central patio. On the left side lived the Princess' lady-in-waitng, Lolita Balanzat. Offices, halls and dining-room face calle Quintana.

Entrance and Entrance Hall stairs leading to the upper floor

The access to the building is at calle Quintana through a big carriage entrance. There are two stone-stairs on each side. The right one goes to the entrance hall. This hall has a mural by Jose Garnelo y Alda showing the proclamation of the Catholic Monarchs in Segovia.

Stairs

In front of the entrance hall are the stairs, which were originally made of marble. On both side we can see two little angels holding a lamp. On the ceiling is a painting by Mariano Benlliure representing different Spanish provinces, Segovia as the main one, being the Princess' favourite. On the first floor are the main rooms located along a corridor which surrounds the interior patio. There used to be a collection of Talavera and Sevres ceramic. Currently there are military condecorations, trophies and portraits of several Lieutenant General who have been in charge of this unit. There are also photographies of the Princess.

Little Theater

As the Princess was very interested in arts, specially theater and music, she wanted to little theaterhave a little theater and a music-room in her palace. Currently this room is used as conference-room.

Dining Room

This room was almost completely destroyed during the war, when a bomb smashed the ceiling and fell through the floor. The room was rebuilt, but not restored. The lamp hanging from the ceiling was bought by the Airforce. It is made of Bohemian glass.

Throne Room

It was called the Blue Room. Instead of a lamp it had 4 floor candelabra. The painting on the ceiling shows a woman´s day and was painted by Emilio Sala. Currently this room is used for special events.

Chapel

This small chapel is still used nowadays. The altar is not the original one. It has an image ofglass stained window in the chapel Virgen of Guadalupe. The upper part of the stained glass window is original. The main glass window has an image of Virgen of Loreto. The stained glass window as well as the upper part of the chapel have lines made of gold leaf which imitate rays of sun. Behind the door are some old switches which may be the original ones.

Music Room

This is one of the main rooms of the palace where Princess Isabel enjoyed her private concerts. On the walls there are paintings of the 26 most important musicians of those days. It seems that under each painting was a bowl containing an original score of each composer. On the ceiling is a painting by Benlliure.

Bedroom

The Princess' bedroom is now an office. It is a small room with almost no decorations. The palace with its broad corridors and rooms with big windows is a building designed to live comfortably. In several rooms are still the original radiators which heated the building in cold winters. There used to be a lift that was located at the patio and went to the upper floor. There is one more floor which was assigned to the servants.

We would like to thank the Air Force for their kindness allowing us to visit this wonderful place and providing us with first hand information in order to write this article. If you want to see this and more photographies of the palace, please go to palacio de la princesa.

 

lamp in the old dining-room
first floor
ceiling above the stairs
original radiator
entrance hall
Blue Room

 

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