Welcome to Madrid
The Palacio de las Cortes Españolas, Spain’s parliament, in the Plaza de las Cortes, was built on the site of the former convent of Espíritu Santo. No longer occupied by the monks, it was used as the headquarters for the Congress between 1834 and 1841, before which time the Congress had no fixed address. The tender put out for the construction of the current building was awarded to the architect Narciso Pascual y Colomer, and construction work was finished in 1850.
On the main façade, a flight of stairs climbs up to the neoclassical portico It features six imposing fluted Corinthian columns which support the triangular pediment, decorated with reliefs by Ponciano Ponzano. The symbolic lions flanking the entrance are by the same sculptor and were cast using the iron from cannons captured during the Spanish-Moroccan War. Underneath the pediment is the engraved bronze main door, which is only opened on special occasions.
The many rooms of the building, which was built on a symmetrical ground plan, include the well-known assembly hall (salón de sesiones), the library and the conference hall, better known as the salón de los pasos perdidos, (the hall of lost steps). Valuable portraits, tapestries and furniture decorate the headquarters of the Spanish parliament, which has undergone various extensions in recent decades to connect it to the adjoining buildings. To organize a group guided tour, contact (+34) 91 390 65 25, (+34) 91 390 65 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org
After entering through Puerta de los Leones, and from the main Vestibule, known as Vestíbulo de Isabel II, you will go through the Salón de los Pasos Perdids, the Escritorio del Reloj and Escritorio de la Constitución arriving to Hemiciclo where the plenary sessions are celebrated. There you can see the recent renovations that have covered most of the signs of the bullet holes from the famous shooting of the 1981 Coup. The visit continues through the Portrait Gallery (Galería de los Retratos) of the first floor, Sala Mariana Pineda and the very Sala Constitucional (Constitutional Chamber).