The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the king of Spain; however, the present kings do not inhabit it, so it is used for state ceremonies and solemn acts. With an area of 135,000 m² it is the largest royal palace in Western Europe, and one of the largest in the world. It houses a valuable historical-artistic heritage, and collections such as paintings, sculptures and tapestries.
The palace was built by order of King Philip V, on the site left by the Royal Alcazar, destroyed almost entirely by a fire in 1734. Both the cements of the old Alcazar and some of its structures were used for the construction of the new palace. The fire served to justify the replacement of the old building by a palace. Its construction began in 1738, according to traces of the architect Filippo Juvara, who proposed a greater palace, but in a different location. When Juvara died, the project was entrusted to his disciple Juan Bautista Sachetti, who was required to adapt the plans of Juvara to the site of the old Alcazar. Francesco Sabatini was in charge of the conclusion of the building, as well as secondary works to reform, of extension and decoration. Carlos III was the first monarch who inhabited continuously the palace.