Casa del Tesoro (Madrid)

The Casa del Tesoro or Treasure House was a building next to the former Royal Alcázar of Madrid.

Detail of the Plan by Frederic de Wit (1635), Treasure House (Casa del Tesoro) is at right. On the left, one can see that this building was directly connected with the Alcázar.


During the 16th century, the former Alcázar of Madrid was extensively remodeled to convert the ancient Muslim fortress into a royal palace able to host the king and his court.

The ancient medieval structure was not only renovated, but its various functions were taken up by new additions: to the south with the construction of the Royal Stables, to the north with the plaza del Picadero and the gardens of La Priora, and to the east with the construction of the Casas de Oficios (Houses of Official Duties), the new kitchens and the Casa del Tesoro (Treasure House). The latter were constructed from 1568 after purchasing from Don Bernardino de Mendoza what hereinafter was called Casa del Tesoro. The space between the Casa del Tesoro and the Alcázar was subsequently acquired to build new kitchen and office facilities. This new complex had a direct connection with the Alcázar via a passageway.

With the founding of the Monasterio de la Encarnación in 1611, the area underwent another major expansion, which included a new passageway linking the aforementioned monastery with Treasure House. With this new building, the Kings could directly access the Encarnación from the palace.

During the reign of Philip V, remodeling was undertaken to install the Royal Library within the Casa del Tesoro, this being the forerunner of the National Library.

The whole complex was demolished by Joseph Bonaparte (Napoleon's brother) and today in its place is the Plaza de Oriente.

Buried under the plaza were basements, parts of building facades and the pavement of the old street in front of Treasure House, on the south side. This disappeared with the construction of underground parking and the tunnel covering Calle Bailén.[1]


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