The first thing that caught our attention when we arrived at the Royal Site and Aranjuez Villa, was the large arcade along the way to the Saint Anthony Square, or the Square of “Mariblanca”, as it is commonly known.
The arcade practically delimits this monumental square. And it is precisely in this square, where the Royal Chapel of Saint Anthony of Padua is strategically located.
As its name indicates, it was conceived as a royal chapel, occupying an important spot of the square and at the same time, integrating itself to a system of arcades that define this great space.
It has its origin in an oratory that Felipe IV ordered to be provisionally enabled due to the small capacity of the Royal Chapel that only had two altars. It was also used as barracks by the Napoleonic troops.
The Royal Chapel of Saint Anthony of Padua was designed by the architects Isidro González Velázquez and Santiago Bonavia in the 18th century. Its centralized circular plan, crowned with a dome, reflects to a great extent the Italian influence of Santiago Bonavia, (known in Italian as Giacomo Bonavia). Born in 1695 in Plasencia, Italy, he was an Italian architect, set designer and painter who worked in Spain during the 18th century.
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