Enter the richly decorated rooms and salons of the Palacio de la Magdalena where Spanish royals used to enjoy their vacations. This magnificent early 20th-century building was the summer residence of King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia de Battenberg for 18 years. They ruled Spain until the country became a republic for the second time, in 1931.
Today, the palace is used for university summer courses, weddings and other events throughout the year. Exploring the interior is only possible on a guided tour. Visit rooms that are furnished with centuries-old furniture. Study Bargueños pieces from the Spanish renaissance. This is a style of wooden cabinets from the 16th to 18th centuries characterized by many draws and storage compartments and embellished interiors.
Examine the oil portrait of Queen Victoria Eugenia by the notable Spanish painter Joaquin Sorolla. There is also a bust of the queen by the English sculptor Conrad Dressler and a painting of the royal children. Other highlights include a 16th-century table and English Baroque and Hepplewhite furniture.
Go to the chapel for its 17th-century altars and look around the Saleta de la Reina, formerly a private room of the queen.
The palace is open daily except during the summer months when it can be toured only on the weekends. Guided tours take place several times a day and last for approximately 45 minutes. The tours have a fee and are only conducted in Spanish. Children under the age of 10 enter for free.
The Palacio de la Magdalena is located at the top of the Magdalena Peninsula, a large coastal park that encompasses other attractions including a small marine park, the Muelle de las Carabelas (the Dock of the Caravelles, also known as the Museum of Man and the Sea), beaches and a lighthouse. Take a bus from the city center that stops close to the peninsula’s entrance or drive and use the large free parking lot just outside the park.