An authentic representation of the old Palacio del Buen Retiro in Madrid, the Salón de Reinos was built between 1630 and 1635 and housed the best paintings, most of them preserved today in the Prado National Museum. The room is named after those painted on the shields of the twenty-four kingdoms that formed the Spanish Monarchy under Felipe IV. However, the current most popular name is that of the Army Museum, due to the fact that institution housed the collections until the recent transfer to Alcazar de Toledo.
Together with the Cason del Buen Retiro, the Salón de Reinos is the only architectural remnant of the great palace complex positioned between the Paseo del Prado and Retiro Park. Initially conceived as a stage from which kings might attend theatrical performances which were held in the courtyard, but when it was decided to make Buen Retiro a real palace, the throne room function was added.
The room never failed to fulfil its festive function, being used for shows and soirées, and for this reason a balcony was created to observe the festivities from above. But the throne room also had to fulfil the mission to impress ambassadors and distinguished members of the courts of Europe who came to the palace, so was decorated more lavishly than the rest of the palace complex. Well lit by numerous windows, with jasper tables decorated with silver lions, the roof was covered with gargoyles. The walls also overflowed with a pictoral decoration of political symbolism, whose ultimate goal was the exaltation of King Felipe IV.