Spanish version

Linares Palace


Façade of Linares Palace-Casa de AmericaLinares Palace is located at Plaza de la Cibeles , in front of the Communications Palace and Buenavista Palace.

It belonged to the Marquise of Linares, José de Murga y Reolid and his wife,Raimunda de Osorio y Ortega.

In 1872 they bought the land from the Town Hall. There used to be a grain deposit, which covered the needs of the city.

The palace was begun in 1872 and finished 18 years later.
The design was made by Adolphe Obrecht, a French architect, and the building by the Spanisg architect Carlos Colubí. The famous dollhouse was made by Manuel Aníbal Álvarez .

As the marquisses had no children, the palace was inherited by their godchild, Raimunda Avecilla y Aguado , daughter of their administrator.

After the Civil War the palace was nearly destroyed, but in 1976 it became a Historic Monument. Before turning into Casa de América , in 1989, it had several owners, although none of them lived in the building. The movie ‘ La Escopeta Nacional ' by Spanish film director, Luis Garcia Berlanga was filmed in the palace.

The Palace

Linares Palace- dressingroom ceilingIt seems that under the cellar are some galleries which connect the palace to other buildings in this area. In the cellar are the kitchen, some offices belonging to the servants and their living-rooms.

On the ground floor, just behind the main entrance we find a splendid staircase made of Carrara marble.


The floor continues on both sides of the staircase. The marchioness had here her private rooms, like the dressing room. In all rooms we find paintings on the ceilings related to the use of the room. They are not fresco paintings, but canvases. In the dressing room we can see a painting dedicated to the goddess Venus, who is looking into a mirror held by Adonis. The painting was made by Carlos Plasencia . The border surrounding the painting goes together with the floor. This also happens in all rooms, if the floor is made of tiles or if it is a carpet.
The floor of the palace, 2.500m2, is handmade. It is a mosaic made of little pieces. It was made in four months.

On this floor is also the bedroom of the marquisses. Although at the moment it is empty, we can imagine their big bed with a high canopy. On the ceiling we see a goddess inviting the inhabitants to sleep. Again, the author of the painting is Carlos Plasencia . The walls of the rooms are not painted. They are covered by embroidered silk fabric. All have been restored. Linares Palace-diningroom ceiling

The next room is a Louis XV boudoir. The painting on the ceiling was made by Alejandro Ferran . It is an allegory of poetry. On the painting we can also see part of the palace.

A small dining-room, with a table for ten guests, is ready for the event. It seems that the marquisses frequently used the services of Lhardy, as was the custom among rich people of the XIXth century.

Service a la Française or Service a la Russe

These were two different ways of serving the dishes. The most common way was the so called Service a la Française. All dishes were served at the same time. It is similar to what we would call a buffet nowadays. The dishes served included a starter, a main dish and dessert.

The main problem was, that usually some of the dishes was already cold when the guests wanted to taste them. So, little by little, the Service a la Russe became more popular. It had its origin in Great Britain. The dishes were brought to the table by waiters and already prepared on the plates. First, the most important guests were served. But the second course was served first to those who had been the last ones to get the first dish.

Linares Palace-emblemThe dining-rooms ceiling presents a painting with a balustrade, a garden and birds under an open sky. The borders represent fruits that go with the carpet.

After passing under the staircase we get to one of the favourite sitting-rooms of the couple. It offers wonderful sights of Cibeles fountain, specially in the evenings. Over the big windows we can see the emblem of the marquise. Jose de Murga was appointed marquise of Linares by king Amadeo de Saboya, in appreciation of his support. This emblem can be seen on the doorknobs and the glassware.

The fireplace and the doors are made in mahogany. The bronze lamps were made in France.

The library has paintings of several well known Spanish authors over the different doors. Here used to be a painting of the marquise and his wife by Pradillo, but it is now in a private collection.

Main Floor

The main floor has the rooms that represent the owner´s wealth. Here is the main dining Linares Palace-marble staircaseroom and also a chapel. As we have already mentioned, the staircase that leads us to this floor is of Carrara marble and each step is made of one piece of marble. On the ceiling, the painting refers to the four seasons. It was painted by Manuel Dominguez. On the four sides we see science, agriculture and fine arts.

Before entering the ball-room there is an ante-chamber. The ceiling imitates the Pompeii style. Pompeii had just been discovered and it was in fashion to imitate its style.

The big ball-room has a painting by Pradillo on the ceiling, ‘Mischieves of Love'.

On the upper part we have several lunettos. Behind one of them were the musicians playing valses for the guests.

On the next floor we find a greenhouse and guest-rooms.

On the last floor are the bedrooms for the servants.

Linares Palace-ballroomIf you have the opportunity to visit the palace, it would be a good idea to visit also the Museum of Romanticism and Caprice Park, as they are three splendid examples of life in the XIXth century.

A Ghost and a Legend

The palace became very popular in the 1990´s, specially due to a ghost that seemed to live in it. But let us first talk about the mistery that surrounded its inhabitants.

It is said, that the father of marquis de Linares made a lot of money in Cuba. He seemed to be also very modern in his ideas. Therefore he told his son not to marry for an interest, but out of love.

After some time, José de Murga met Raimunda, whose mother worked in the cigarette factory. When Jose´s father heard about this love affair he forbade his son to continue seeing the girl and sent him to study abroad.

Jose´s father died and the young man returned to Madrid. Finally he married Raimunda and now the mistery begins.

Although nothing has been really proved, the legend says that after their marriage, the Linares Palace-dollhousecouple found a letter from Jose´s father, which he never sent. In it, he told his son why he had been against the marriage. Raimunda was a daughter of a former lover,i.e. they were siblings.

The couple was aghast. As they still wanted to live together they asked the Pope for a special permission to continue living in the same house, but without physical contact. The Pope gave them a special license.

But they loved each other so much, that in the end they could not avoid a "physical encounter". They had a baby child. Horrified by what they had done, they killed their daughter, born as a prove of their sin.

This daughter is the ghost that haunts the palace from time to time, crying because she has no "mummy".

A part of the rumor is based on the dollhouse built next to the palace, on one of its sides. The dollhouse was in the original design of the building, but many have speculated that there was no reason to build one if the couple had no children. This was also the proof they needed to say that there had been a child that had been killed.

As you can imagine lots of books, articles and tv-shows have revolved around this topic, but no serious conclusion has been reached.

At least, it is always more interesting to visit a place that has a ghost living inside its walls than just a mere palace.

Linares Palace
Linares Palace-bedroom ceiling
Linares Palace-handmade mosaic floor
Linares Palace - staircase
Linares Palace-library
Linares Palace-antechamber
Linares Palace-antechamber ceiling
Linares Palace-ballroom
Linares Palace-ballroom
Linares Palace-fountain




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