Aranjuez is one of the most beautiful visit you can do within few miles from Madrid. It was the city chose by Felipe II to hold its summer castle in 1560. The city and the castle pretend to emulate Versailles, but built under the Spanish style and traditions.
Besides the Palace, the city itself worth a visit. The urban plan of Aranjuez was carefully executing producing an adorable place with concentric streets full of orchards and vegetable gardens. Aranjuez is famous for its strawberries and its asparagus. The site, the palace and the gardens has been declared national heritage and UNESCO World Heritage.
There are many ways to visit the Royal Palace of Aranjuez, but the easier one is to take a day-tour to Aranjuez. It includes a visit to the Royal Palace, the gardens and Gran Casino de Aranjuez. It is one of the biggest gambling facilities in Europe. It also holds concerts and show, just like in Las Vegas.
The Royal Palace of Aranjuez
The Royal Palace of Aranjuez was order by Felipe II to Juan Bautista de Toledo, the royal architect at the moment. Since Toledo died without finishing the palace, a new architect retake the duty. He was Juan de Herrera, the creator of the Spanish baroque style called “Herreriano” –a interpretation of the baroque style through the Spanish traditions an royal protocols. The palace wasn’t finish until the XVIII century.
Now a days the ground floor host the dependencies of the Museo de la Vida en Palacio, an interesting exhibit on how does the royalty faces life every day. The museum collections has interesting personal object belonging to deferent kings and queens, rooms completely decorated like they used to be in the XVIII century, and the Mirror Room, an incredible party room completely decorates with mirrors.
In the backyard of the Royal Palace there is a French style garden called Jardín de la Isla (Garden of the Island) regarding its peculiar location between the building and the river Tajo. The garden is decorated with magnificent Italian fountains from the XVI and the XVII century. This garden is consider a master piece of the Austrian Bourbons times.
The Royal Gardens and the Casa del Labrador
The so called Casa del Labrador is an small hunting cottage built in the XVIII century at the end of the Prince Garden. The interest in Aranjuez begin when Carlos V interesting to keep this land as a Royal hunting ground.
The building is one of the most important pieces of the Spanish neoclassical architecture. The building as most of the constructions and statues in the garden are made by Juan de Villanueva, one of the most relevant royal architect of all time. The building can be visit as part of the tour of the Aranjuez Royal Site.
Around the building is one of the most beautiful Spanish gardens, the Prince Garden. Its pavilions, kiosks, statues and its ground plan are a piece of artwork. It has an extension of 150 ha. of which only half of them are public.
Just in front of the Royal Palace there is another garden, called Jardín del Parterre. It was design by the French landscaper Esteban Boutelou in 1727. The main piece on the garden is the Hercules and Anteo fountain.
The Gran Casino de Aranjuez is one of the most important gambling center in Madrid area. It has the Europe’s biggest casino poker area with 22,000 square feet, 50 lucky tables to play black jack, French roulette, American roulette, craps, poker, baccarat and more… It also, counts with a room for sport bets.
This casino is a fancy place, but not dress-code require. It open daily form 3 p.m. to 6 a.m. Remember in Spain, the minimum gaming age in this casino is 18.
The venue counts with two restaurants. La Vega is a buffet with a great quality food, and Nautilum is a restaurant specialize in sea food. It also has a café concert, a cocktail bar and a Music Tapas restaurant. During the weekend The Gran Casino de Aranjuez presents different shows and concerts, including world famous stars like Julio Iglesias or David Bisbal.