Emperor Charles V, with the architects Alonso de Covarrubias and Luis de Vega, extended and renovated the original Moorish castle in 1537. Philip II made Madrid his capital in 1561 and continued the renovations, with new additions. Later kings added a long southern facade between 1610 and 1636.
Almudena Cathedral is across the big plaza from the Royal Palace. Despite its appearance, it was finished less than a century ago.
The ceiling of the Hall of Columns features a fresco by Giaquinto (the birth of the sun).
A bronze statue of Charles V holds down one end of the Hall of Columns. The statue represents King Charles Vanquishing Fury, and is by the Spanish sculptor Ferdinand Barbedienne after a 16th century original..