If a wealthy Madrid nobleman ever wanted to impress, he went to the Real Fábrica de Tapices, where royalty commissioned the pieces that adorned their palaces and private residences. The Spanish government, Spanish royal family and the Vatican were the biggest patrons of the tapestry business: Spain alone is said to have collected four million tapestries. With such an exclusive clientele, it was a lucrative business and remains so, 300 years after the factory was founded.
Goya began his career here, first as a cartoonist and later as a tapestry designer. Given such an illustrious history, it is somewhat surprising that coming here today feels like visiting a carpet shop, with small showrooms strewn with fine tapestries. There is a permanent exhibition on show and a sales area. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see how they’re made.
The guided tours at 12.30pm are in English.