From 19 September it will be possible to visit the gardens and interior of the Liria Palace in Madrid.
The guided tour of the Liria Palace has been designed by ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño, which has created an immersive experience.
From 19 September Madrid’s Liria Palace, part of the patrimony of the Duke of Alba, will be open to the public for the first time. The tour has been created as an immersive sensorial experience, for which the Casa de Alba Foundation has worked with ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño (APD), the largest European company specialising in the design and implementation of permanent and temporary museums and exhibitions.
APD has designed a 65-minute tour which will enable visitors to discover the Palace’s history and heritage. The tour –in which a maximum of 20 people can participate at one time- includes 14 rooms containing one of the greatest artistic legacies in the Spanish history, the fruit of 600 years of patronage and collecting by the Casa de Alba.
One of the main challenges ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño faced when creating the Guided Tour of the Liria Palace is that it continues to be the home of Carlos Fitz-James Stuart, the Duke of Alba and it has therefore combined the Palace’s functionality as a home and as an exhibition space.
An audio journey through 600 years of history
The concept of the tour is based on offering an experiential, evocative journey through the history of the palace and its collections. To achieve this, visitors will listen to both passages of historical narration and spoken episodes of historical characters linked to the Liria Palace or the Duke of Alba, for which headphones (with commentaries in 5 languages) which will accompany them during the tour.
The narration is accompanied by a soundtrack consisting of classical pieces also related to the history of the Liria Palace. The repertory includes compositions by Juan de Urrede, the first maestro in the service of the 1st Duke of Alba in 1476; Gioachino Rossini, a friend of the 14th Duke of Alba; and Haydn, who composed a piece for the 13th Duchess of Alba, as well as other works by artists such as Boccherini, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Offenbach…
The tour will also have audiovisual support to help visitors to understand the history of the Palace and the Alba family.
In collaboration with the Casa de Alba Foundation, ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño has carried out a project that included digitalisation of the floorplan of the building, design of the thematic and chronological journey of the visit and design and development of the contents of the audio guide and its soundtrack.
Founded in 1990, ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño is currently the largest company in Europe specialising in the design and implementation of museums, exhibitions, events and multimedia shows. APD is committed to the concept of “Cultural Engineering”, which consists of using cutting edge visual and sensorial technology to transmit the history, tradition and values of a specific place.
The Liria Palace: artistic works and architectural value
The Liria Palace is one of the most outstanding examples of Madrid’s civil architecture. Built in the second half of the 18th century by Ventura Rodríguez, with a marked neoclassical style, a rectangular floorplan and surrounded by gardens, the Palace was seriously damaged during the Spanish Civil War and rebuilt thanks to the tenacity and sense of duty of the 17th Duke of Alba, Don Jacobo, and of the 18th Duchess, Doña Cayetana and her consort Don Luis, who completed the reconstruction, funding the entirety of the work.
One of the highlights of the tour is the library, which contains more than 18,000 volumes, with bibliographical and documentary jewels such as the only privately owned collection of letters signed by Christopher Columbus, the last will and testament of Ferdinand ‘The Catholic’ or the first edition of ‘Don Quixote’ published in Madrid in 1605.
The most significant works of art include Francisco de Goya’s portraits of the 13th Duchess of Alba and of the Marchioness of Lazán, as well as those by Titian and Rubens of the Great Duke of Alba and other important painting signed by Velázquez (‘Infanta Margarita’), Murillo (‘Juan de Miranda’), Zurbarán (‘Santo Domingo de Guzmán’) or El Greco (‘Christ on the Cross’), among other significant artists. Flemish, Dutch and Italian painting also play an important role in this collection.
The decorative arts complete the rooms with a wide range of porcelain pieces from various factories (Sevres, Meissen, Alcora, Buen Retiro), as well as a rich and varied collection of clocks and furniture of different styles and eras and many others which came to the Liria Palace from the Empress Eugenia de Montijo, wife of the Emperor Napoleon III, who spent his last days there.
Among the highlights in the collection of tapestries are the series of the four “The New indies’ tapestries, woven in the Parisian factory of Gobelinos, and the three ‘Jornada de Alemania’, by Willem de Pannemaker (15th century), dedicated to the campaigns of the Emperor Charles VI.
Tickets to visit the Liria Palace can be purchased on the Internet (www.palaciodeliria.com) and at the ticket office available at the entrance gate of the building.
The general price of tickets will be 14 euros, with a reduced entry fee of 12 euros for children, the unemployed, students, people with reduced mobility and those over the age of 65 and will be free for children under 6. The entrance includes an audio guide (in Spanish, English, French, Italian and German), with which visitors will be able to enjoy a unique experience in which music and voices in off will take them on a journey into the essence of the family’s history.
Visits will take place on Mondays from 9:45 to 14:00 hours and from Tuesday to Sunday (including public holidays) in the morning and afternoon from 9:45 to 14:00 hours and from 15:45 to 19:30 in summer (from March to October). In winter (November to February) the Palace will close an hour earlier, at 18:30 hours. The Liria Palace will be closed to the public on 24 and 25 December and 1 and 6 January (on 31 December and 5 January it will only be open in the morning). Tours with a maximum of 20 people will be scheduled every half hour.