Teatro de Romea
This resilient theater has weathered two destructive fires, and continues to be one of the most important cultural centers throughout Spain.
Built by Spanish monarch King Charles IV and his wife Maria Luisa, Casa del Labrador was created for the royal family to use as a private retreat for leisure and recreation. Now a spectacular museum in Aranjuez, Spain, the Casa remains a treasure trove of art and architecture, and houses artwork by some of the most influential artists of the early 19th century.
Designed by the royal architect Juan de Villanueva, the Casa is fashioned in the neoclassical style and is considered one of the most important examples of neoclassical architecture in Europe. Its construction lasted nine years and was completed in 1803. The mansion design was inspired by the Petit Trianon at Versailles, a small chateau on the grounds of the grand palace.
The interiors of the Casa are as opulent as its exterior architecture. Designed by French designer Jean-Demosthene Dugourc, the inside includes curtains and walls covered in Valencian silk, glass lamps, magnificent marble and porcelain floors featuring Roman mosaics, and murals by the artist Zacarias Gonzalez Velazquez – a prominent artist of the era known for his portraiture and religious paintings.
Surrounded by lush gardens known as the Jardan del Principe, the Casa is now operated as a museum and is managed by Patriomonio Nacional. Visitors can explore its opulent halls in guided groups, but must wear disposable overshoes to protect its floors. In 2001, the Casa del Labrador was included in the Aranjuez Cultural Landscape, and named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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