Spain: Madrid – Royal Palace & Almudena Cathedral

Officially, the Royal Palace (the largest royal palace in Europe) is the residence of the Spanish royal family, but the king doesn’t live here preferring the outskirts of Madrid instead. So the palace is just a place for ceremonies and tourists. The palace is located where a medieval alcazar fortress once stood on high ground overlooking the city below. A grand square – Plaza de la Armenia – lies in front of the palace and across the square stands the Almudena Cathedral (the seat of the Archbishop of Madrid). The palace itself somewhat resembles Versailles in Paris structurally, and inside the halls are richly decorated with art by Spanish artists and statues of Spanish kings. The most famous part of the palace is the grand staircase titled “The Triumph of Religion”. Photography inside is not allowed but you can always sneak a couple shots and say “oops I did it again”.