Congreso de los Diputados

The seat of Spanish national sovereignty

The Palace of National Sovereignty is the outcome of a bid called in 1842 by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando to erect the Congress of Deputies, which, from 1834, occupied the church and outbuildings of the Convent of the Holy Spirit, of minor regular clergy. The Academy chose the project submitted by the architect Narciso Pascual y Colomer, who built a balanced neoclassical building inspired by the palaces of the Italian quattrocento. The structure of its interior layout, totally symmetrical and with marked academicism in its architectural style, is unified by the hemicycle of the Sessions Hall, which is rounded off with the different functional offices of the Congress as an institution. The interior, in keeping with this representative nature, was decorated by the best artists of the time.

Today the building has grown substantially westwards through extensions undertaken in 1980 and 1994, and which continued in 2006 on the bordering path of Carrera de San Jerónimo with the incorporation and transformation of the former headquarters of the Banco Exterior de España and the Banco de Crédito Industrial.

Congreso de los Diputados photograph, taken by Amador Toril

© Amador Toril