It was first built by the Ummayyad Empire Emir, Muhammad I, sometime between 860 and 880. Then completely revamped in 1738 by King Philip V after a fire in a process that took 18 years. This palace is now the largest palace in Europe and one of the largest in the world. It has 3,418 rooms within its 135,000 square metres confines. Despite it being an official seat of a Head of State, it is one of a few palaces that is open to the public. (Funds are needed for the tremendous maintenance required). Opulently furnished inside, you will be mesmerized by the elegant grandeur, sumptuous furnishings and resplendent décor, all so breathtaking. Our tour through the premises took an hour but many rooms were not photographable or available. Visiting this palace is very much sought after so book your tickets ahead of time or be faced with a very long wait. Note also that very few rooms are photographable. We encountered very strict security enforcing this policy.