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The RoyalPalace was one of the most emblematic buildings of Valencia. It was Jaume I monarchical residence until its demolition in March 1810 by order of the Board of Military Defense, so it would not to serve the French army in the attack on the city. His name has been kept in memory through the gardens that are currently known as the Viveros or RealGardens.
The palace was north of the TuriaRiver, and it was installed over an almunia or recreational countryside house of the Arab rulers. Jaume I chose the place as a personal residence, but soon a new building with better facilities was necessary, and a new palace was built during the reigns of James II (1291-1327) and Pere IV, the Cerimoniós (1336-1387).
The Real Palace in the Middle Ages consisted of two bodies, one smaller, with towers at the four corners, where the original chapel was located; and another, larger, located around two courtyards with spaces both for public use and private rooms for the personal residence of the monarch. The main facade had a large door flanked by two powerful towers and a moat built in 1356 before the war with Castile.
The reign of Alfonso the Magnanimous was one of its brightest stages. The palace was the permanent residence of his wife, Mary Queen of Castile. His quarters were located around the western tower of the facade and were near the chapel where the Holy Grail was kept, brought to Valencia by the King in 1424 and subsequently donated to the Cathedral, where it is venerated today. At this time it was located on the ground floor of the Kingdom’s Archive.
With the Hapsburgs, the Palace was a sporadic royal residence since kings settled in Toledo and Madrid. However, the appointment of a viceroy to Valencia served to develop a small court in the RealPalace. Mainly with Germaine de Foix and the Duke of Calabria, who installed his famous library here and formed a chapel with a choir of about 40 members, whose compositions were collected in the Cançoner del Duc of Calabria.
In 1599 major reforms for the wedding of Felipe III and Margaret of Austria in Valencia were undertaken; the couple remained at the RoyalPalace between February and May.
In 1645, the arrival of Felipe IV to celebrate the Courts in Valencia marks one of the most important reforms. An arcaded with classical rectangular pillar and arches that supported an upper gallery was constructed. Balconies that were used to look at fireworks celebrations, equestrian parades and tournaments were also constructed.
With the Bourbons, it was transferred to the army, losing its character as a royal residence and was used to house administrative offices and a small garrison.
After its demolition in 1810, this symbol of Regne of Valencia was forgotten, knowing only its image through cartography and paintings, such as Mancelli’s, Tosca’s and Manuel Caballero’s. In 1986, during the construction of the North waste water pipe, the first archaeological remains of the RoyalPalace appeared, and later in 2009 the
Avd. General Elío, s/n (Jardins del Reial). 46010 Valencia.