Palacio Arzobispal

The Palacio Arzobispal is located in La Calle San Justo in Madrid, in the historical part of the city, Madrid de los Austrias.






The Palace of the Archbishop is located close to La Plaza Mayor, in the historic centre of Madrid. The structure occupies a triangular block. It was constructed in the 17th century. The principal building was the residence of the archbishop and the cardinals of Madrid.

It was constructed during the reign of Charles III and for the archbishop of Toledo, as his residence.

Building date 

This palace was built around the year 1750 so, in the 18th century.

Artistic style

It’s artistic style is mostly baroque but parts of the building have a different style, so it depends on the part of the building. Some characteristics that show that it has a baroque style are the curves. The palace is very simple and it has scarcely decoration, except some of his doors. In the interior a very important collection of work arts still remains

Who commissioned its construction?

Arzobispos de Toledo were the ones that commissioned the construction of the  Palacio Arzobispal de Madrid , and the tower was commissioned by the Arzobispo Pedro Tenorio.

Original and current function.

Now it is the residence of the archbishop and the cardinals of the archdiocese of  Madrid. It also has the ecclesiastical court, the departments of computers of the archdiocese and the diocesan file.

During the 17th century, it was the residence of the archbishop of Toledo. Then, it became the residence of the cardinals Luis Antonio de Borbón y Farnesio and Francisco Antonio de Lorenzana.
In the year 1885, it became the residence of the first bishop in the diocese, Narciso Martínez Izquierdo, who was killed one year later in the doors of La Colegiata de San Isidro.

Main architectural and decorative elements.

The palace is very simple and it has scarcely decoration, except some of his doors. The building has three and four floors.  In the interior a very important collection of work arts still remain.


These paintings are some arts works that were found in the palace. Nowadays, they are in el Museo del Prado.

Interesting facts

“ El que no pasa por la calle de la Pasa, no se casa“                                                      The Palacio Arzobispal in Madrid inspired a popular and already forgotten Madrid saying related to the compulsory requirements for Catholic marriage in allusion to the street where the building has its access, La Calle la Pasa.

This building is included in the Registro de Bienes of cultural interest of the Community of Madrid as a monument of internal protection.


Type of rock used to build the building.

Almost all the building is covered with mortar, including all the façade, except the plinths, that are constructed with granite.

Geological origin of the rock.

Granite is a plutonic igneous rock composed mainly of  quartz and feldspar with minor amounts of mica and other minerals.  This composition usually gives granite different colors, such as red, pink, gray or white. The one used in el Palacio Arzobispal is gray. The rok also has dark grains that are easily visible.

Features of the rock.

Granite is the preferred and hardest building material for modern architecture in request. Due to the fact that granite can be cleaned easily it is the most useful and hygienical material to use in exterior and interior spaces. Granite is mainly used for structural and decorative purposes.

Justification of the type of rock chosen

They chose granite mainly because it is a very hard and resistant rock. One of the advantages about granite is that it gives a distinctive and elegant touch to the buildings. It is very resistant to weight  and weathering.

Quarries used for rocks extraction (and way of transport of them).

In the past, the architects normally used rocks that came from quarries in the surrounding areas of the construction. This was because, as rocks were very heavy, the transportation of them was way easier and, probably, cheaper.

Granite is the most common rock in the Earth’s surface. In Madrid, the  main place where you can find this rock in in la Sierra de Guadarrama. You can also find it in the quarries of Alpedrete, Zarzalejo, Moralzarzal, Colmenar Viejo, Galapagar and Cadalso de los Vidrios.

Alterations that the materials have suffered.

The materials have suffered transformations in order to reach the balance to the new conditions of pressure and temperature. The effort they have supported during the construction of the building causes alterations in the rocks.

The alterations that may have suffered some buildings in Madrid depend, mainly ,of its textual properties and of the alteration factors that exist in the environment of the city.

One of the main factors that affect the alterations is the pollution. The main forms of deterioration are because of the climate Madrid and the urban environment where it is Madrid and because of the pass of the time.

As there isn’t much information about the alterations of this building, we thing that is hasn’t suffered many. We think this because it hasn’t been remodeled many times and it is in perfect conditions.

The state of conservation and remodelings.

Palacio Arzobispal hasn’t suffered many changes since its construction. Once they  changed the bricks of the upper part of the building. It was remodeled in the year 2004 by the local government of Madrid.