If you want to get a taste of what affluent Spanish courtesan life was like, a visit to the Palacio de Aranjuez will not disappoint! The palace and the surrounding town are located about 48 kilometers southwest of Madrid, and the short trip is well worth it.
The site began to take on its current look during the 16th century, under the reign of Felipe II. Prestigious architects Juan de Herrera and Juan Bautista de Toledo were brought in and an elaborate palace along the lines of France's Versailles was commissioned. It wasn't complete until the reign of Felipe VI and, even further down the road, Carlos III opted to add on an additional two wings to the edifice. The palace, boasting hundreds of exuberant rooms and sumptuous decoration, is surrounded by extensive gardens, which are considered to be the most important gardens of the royal Habsburg dynasty.
For years following construction, the palace - considered the monarchy's spring residence - and its surroundings were originally reserved for royals and their relatives, meaning the surrounding town came into existence years down the road. Since opened to the public, the magnificent palace with its extensive gardens, beautiful setting and tranquil surrounding town has long been an attractive stop for visitors.