Linares Palace: A Tapestry of History, Tragedy, and Elegance

Linares Palace, an architectural jewel nestled on Paseo de Recoletos, 2, adjacent to the enchanting Plaza de la Cibeles Square in Madrid, beckons visitors with its grandeur and historical significance. Built in 1873 by José de Murga, the Marquis of Linares, the palace stands as a testament to neo-baroque design, seamlessly blending Spanish and French influences.

Renowned for its opulent interiors, including magnificent ballrooms, the Hall of Mirrors, a charming chapel, the whimsical Dolls’ House, and a meticulously landscaped garden, Linares Palace is a captivating journey through the aesthetic and cultural treasures of the 19th century.

The palace also houses Casa de América, a modern exhibition center and headquarters for an organization fostering relations between Spain and South America. With a newspaper and magazine library, video library, exhibition rooms, and an auditorium, Casa de América becomes a dynamic hub for cultural exchange.

Visitors can explore the palace from Monday to Friday, with guided tours enhancing the experience on weekends. However, it’s crucial to plan accordingly, considering the closure during August and on the 9th and 10th of October. To reach this cultural marvel, Line 2 of the Madrid Metro conveniently stops at Banco de España station, ensuring easy accessibility for all.

Exploring the Grandeur of Madrid’s Iconic Linares Palace

Linares Palace, an architectural masterpiece situated on one corner of the Plaza de Cibeles Square in Madrid, represents not just a physical structure but a living testament to the rich tapestry of history, tragedy, and elegance. Dating back to the 19th century and commissioned by José de Murga, the Marquis of Linares, this palace has transcended time to become one of Madrid’s most iconic landmarks.

Neo-Baroque Marvel of the 19th Century

Unveiling the Architectural Splendor

Built in 1873, Linares Palace is a stunning exemplar of neo-baroque design, a harmonious blend of Spanish and French influences that stands as a testament to the architectural brilliance of the era. Its main façade is a symphony of opulence, featuring three entrance doors crowned by balconies that evoke a sense of grandeur. The French-inspired design adds a touch of sophistication and elegance, making it one of the finest examples of neo-baroque architecture in Spain.

The interior of the palace is a gallery of artistic magnificence, adorned by the skilled hands of prestigious artists like Jerónimo Suñol. Notable among the interior features is the marble banister on the staircase in the hall, a creation that showcases the exquisite craftsmanship of the time. The ballrooms, Hall of Mirrors, chapel, Dolls’ House, and the meticulously landscaped garden together contribute to the overall aesthetic charm of the palace.

A Stroll Through Opulent Interiors

Ballrooms, Mirrors, Chapel, and Dolls’ House

As visitors traverse the opulent interiors of Linares Palace, they are greeted by the grandeur of the ballrooms, where echoes of historical events and lavish celebrations seem to linger. The Hall of Mirrors, a reflective sanctuary, reflects the aristocratic lifestyle of the past. The chapel exudes a sacred tranquility, providing a glimpse into the spiritual dimension of the palace’s history. Meanwhile, the Dolls’ House adds a whimsical touch, offering a charming contrast to the formal grandeur of the other spaces.

The meticulously landscaped garden, an integral part of the palace grounds, serves as a tranquil oasis amid the urban hustle. Its carefully curated design mirrors the aesthetic sensibilities of the time and invites visitors to explore the harmony between man-made and natural beauty.

Casa de América: A Modern Cultural Hub

Fostering Relations Between Continents

Within the palace grounds lies Casa de América, a modern exhibition center that not only complements the historical significance of Linares Palace but also stands as a symbol of cultural exchange. Serving as the headquarters for an organization dedicated to improving relations between Spain and South America, Casa de América is a dynamic hub that hosts a diverse range of cultural events throughout the year.

Casa de América’s multifaceted facilities include a newspaper and magazine library, a video library, several exhibition rooms, and an auditorium. These amenities collectively contribute to the center’s role as a vital space for fostering understanding and collaboration between Spain and South America. The presence of a restaurant, shop, museum, and bookshop further enhances the visitor experience, transforming Casa de América into a cultural epicenter within the historic confines of Linares Palace.

A Tragic History Unveiled

The Marquis of Linares and the Unfolding Drama

Beneath the opulence and cultural significance of Linares Palace lies a tragic narrative that adds layers of complexity to its history. The Marquis of Linares, guided by his father to choose a wife without regard for financial or social standing, unwittingly married the daughter of a tobacconist. The revelation of his wife’s true parentage, disclosed in a letter from his dying father, brought immense shame to the Marquis.

To remedy the situation, Pope Leo XIII issued a papal bull allowing the Marquis and his wife to cohabit, albeit in chastity. Faced with this unconventional and challenging circumstance, the Marquis channeled his energies into the construction of the palace. In doing so, he seemed to break free from the constraints of budgets and time, creating a structure that not only showcased architectural brilliance but also served as a symbolic expression of resilience in the face of personal turmoil.

The Peculiar Architectural Arrangement

Two Floors, No Kitchen: A Unique Request

In an intriguing twist to the tale, the Marquis and his wife made a unique request to the architect designing the palace. They envisioned the palace being split into two distinct sections, with the Marquis occupying the ground floor and his wife residing on the upper floor. What is particularly interesting is the absence of a kitchen within the palace. Instead, the couple relied on food deliveries from a restaurant, a departure from the conventional lifestyle of the time and a choice that further adds to the peculiarity of Linares Palace.

The Enigmatic Legend

Ghostly Whispers of a Lost Daughter

Adding a touch of mystique to the already complex narrative is a haunting legend associated with Linares Palace. Before discovering their familial connection, the Marquis and his wife conceived a child, a girl who, due to the family’s decisions, was removed from their environment to safeguard the house’s good name. The mother, embittered by this separation, reluctantly accepted that her daughter was placed in an orphanage.

In a poignant twist, the Marquis and his wife, in their will, pleaded that they had no children. The ghostly presence of this daughter is said to haunt the palace intermittently, crying out for her absent “mummy.” This spectral aspect adds a layer of sorrow and tragedy to the already intricate narrative of Linares Palace.

Delving Into the Layers of Linares Palace

In conclusion, Linares Palace is not merely a physical structure; it is a living, breathing entity that encapsulates the essence of Madrid’s history, tragedy, and elegance. Its neo-baroque architecture, opulent interiors, and association with Casa de América make it a multifaceted cultural landmark. The tragic history of the Marquis of Linares, the peculiar architectural arrangements, and the enigmatic legend contribute to the layers of complexity that define this iconic palace.

As visitors traverse the halls, gardens, and cultural spaces within Linares Palace, they are not just witnessing an architectural marvel; they are delving into the intricate layers of a narrative that spans centuries. Each room, each piece of art, and each corner of the palace tells a story – a story of grandeur, resilience, tragedy, and the enduring spirit that shapes the legacy of Linares Palace in the heart of Madrid. It beckons visitors to not only admire its exterior beauty but to immerse themselves in the rich and multifaceted history that this iconic structure holds.

Visiting Linares Palace and Casa de América: Practical Information

If you’re planning to explore the architectural marvels of Linares Palace and experience the vibrant cultural hub at Casa de América, here is some practical information to ensure a seamless visit.

Address: Linares Palace is located at Paseo de Recoletos, 2, nestled within the captivating Plaza de la Cibeles Square in Madrid. The central location makes it easily accessible for locals and tourists alike. For any inquiries or assistance, you can contact the palace directly at +34 91 595 48 00. If you’re interested in guided tours, a dedicated line is available at +34 902 40 02 22.

Website: To get a preview of the offerings and any special events or exhibitions, it’s advisable to visit the official website at Here, you can find up-to-date information, details about ongoing exhibitions, and any additional services provided.

Opening Hours: Linares Palace welcomes visitors from Monday to Friday, operating between 11:00 and 20:00. Additionally, guided tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00, midday, and 14:00, providing an enriched experience for those seeking deeper insights into the palace’s history and significance.

Closed Dates: Keep in mind that Linares Palace is closed for the entire month of August (from the 1st to the 31st) and on the 9th and 10th of October. Plan your visit accordingly to avoid any disappointments due to closures.

Subway Transportation: For convenient and efficient transportation, utilize Line 2 of the Madrid Metro and alight at the Banco de España station. The proximity of the station to the palace makes it a convenient choice for those opting for public transportation.

Guided Tours: Enhance your visit by considering a guided tour. Guided tours are available on weekends and offer a more immersive experience, providing additional context and historical details about Linares Palace.

Special Events and Exhibitions: Check the official website or contact the palace directly to stay informed about any special events, temporary exhibitions, or cultural programs that may be taking place during your visit. This ensures that you make the most of your time at Linares Palace.

By considering these practical details, you can make the most of your visit to Linares Palace and Casa de América, immersing yourself in the architectural splendor and cultural richness they have to offer. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, art lover, or simply someone seeking a unique experience in Madrid, Linares Palace and Casa de América are sure to leave a lasting impression.