Also known as Palacio de Exposiciones, Velázquez Palace is one of the main buildings that can be found at the beautiful Buen Retiro Park in Madrid. The Velázquez Palace was built between the years of 1881 and 1883 for the Exposición Nacional de Minería, an exhibition focused on mining, metallurgical arts, ceramics, glass and mineral waters. Almost all of the buildings created for the Exposición Nacional de Minería were demolished when the event ended, but the Velázquez Palace, together with the Royal Pavilion, survived. ShMadrid will tell you a bit more about this special palace.
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The history of the palace
Velázquez Palace was originally named Palacio de Minería, or the Mining Palace, designed by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco, a Spanish architect, archeologist and scholar, working together with engineer Alberto de Palacio and ceramicist Daniel Zuloaga. The Palace is one of Ricardo Velázquez Bosco largest buildings, at 28.75 by 73.80 meters. Velázquez Palace is a neoclassical building whose exterior is decorated with red brick, tiles from the Royal Factory at La Moncloa, iron vaults and glass. Velázquez Palace has been used for a variety of exhibitions over the years, having featured works by artists like José Manuel Broto, Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Antoni Miralda and Juan Muñoz. The palace closed between the years of 2005 and 2010, so it could undergo restoration and conservation works. Today Velázquez Palace is managed by the Ministry of Culture, hosting several temporary exhibitions by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid’s national museum of modern art.
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Buen Retiro Park is as an enormous green space located in the neighborhood of Salamanca, being considered one of the most important locations in Madrid. The park has several points of interest, including a large number of statues, a lake, a fountain, and glass construction known as Palacio de Cristal. The area that the park occupies today used to be used as a royal hunting ground, turned into royal park during the reign of Felipe IV. The park was the site of the king’s Buen Retiro Palace, which meant it was closed to visitors. It was only in the year of 1868 the Buen Retiro Park became a public space. The Velázquez Palace is located between two lakes, a small lake and a large boating lake, occupying a central position in the Buen Retiro Park. Velázquez Palace is considered a Bien de Interés Cultural and can be visited live or virtually using Google Street View, which allows people to not only see the exterior but also the interior of the building.
Have you been to Velázquez Palace? What did you like best?