of Natural Sciences
Madrid there are numerous museums (they can be consulted in the
corresponding section of our page). To complete itineraries, each
should select the type of museums that you wish to visit and from
there get organized. We offer a fundamental route known in Madrid
as the Paseo del Arte (Art Walk), and a second route that we will
call the Science Route.
route can be completed in a variable period of time, but it is clear
that just the visit to the Prado itself can take more than a day
if it is done with a bit of attention. A joint admission ticket
is available for all three museums on the Paseo del Arte: the Prado,
the Thyssen and the Reina Sofia. It is a visit that can be done
in one day by being a bit selective of the pieces that you wish
to see but in this way, obviously, all three museums cannot be in
three museums are found at little distance from one another, for
this reason you can go between them by walking. Shortly, the aspects
of each one of the museums shall be discussed so that the visitor
can know beforehand a few facts that may be of interest. Remember,
to find out information about opening hours, prices, etc., you can
click over to the section on museums of this web page.
is, without a doubt, the most important museum of painting in Spain,
and one of the most important ones throughout the world. The building
in which the museum is found is Neoclassical and it was the kind
Carlos III who commissioned its construction upon Juan de Villanueva
in 1785. At first it was conceived as the Board and Museum of Natural
Sciences and took its name from the place in which it was located
(Prado or Meadow de los Jeronimos).
was in 1819, during the reign of Fernando VII and thanks to the
interest of his wife, Maria Isabel de Braganza, when the king decided
to convert el Prado into a museum. At that time it was called The
Royal Museum of Paint and Sculpture. In fact, such was the interest
of Maria Isabel that she has always been considered the founder
of the museum.
Fernando VII's death, the museum pieces were to be distributed as
inheritance between his two daughters: Isabel II and her sister
Luisa Fernanda. For this reason, the first appraisal of the pieces
in the museum took place. Isabel II bought her sister's share of
the collection, avoiding its division. With this, it was decided
to link the collections of the royal museum not to a person of the
monarchy, but to the Crown, to avoid similar problems with its inheritance.
in 1868, Isabel II passed away and with her, the Bourbon monarchy,
the museum was nationalized and thenceforth called the Museo Nacional
1872, the museum's collection was enriched with around three thousand
works of art when the governments of the First Republic decided
to fuse the reserves of the Museo de la Trinidad with those of el
Prado. The reserves continued to grow and there was no longer enough
space for all of the pieces. For this reason, a lending policy to
new institutions and provincial museums was established, which makes
up some four thousand pieces and is called el Prado Disperso.
its centennial, the museum was given a Royal Patron, who would be
in charge of cataloging and managing its objectives. In this way,
the museum obtained a greater liberty of action, and thanks to the
on-target exhibition policy, it moved in with the top museums of
the reserves of the Prado painting collection are categorized into
three sets: those that come from the royal collections (some 3,000
works), those that proceed from the Museo de la Trinidad (some 2,000)
and the reserves of new acquisitions (more than 3,500 paintings).
That is to say, in total, the museum possesses around nine thousand
paintings, to which must also be added the numerous sculptures,
engravings, tapestries, drawings and other pieces.
Thyssen-Bornemisza is located in the Palacio de Villahermosa in
Madrid. The building was constructed between the end of the 18th
C. and the beginning of the 19th C. It is a fine example of Madrid's
Neoclassical architecture. The building was renovated by Rafael
Moreno to adapt it to its new function as a museum.
works were gathered by the Thyssen Bornemisza family over a period
of two generations. The majority of this collection was bought by
the Spanish State in July of 1993. A small part of these works are
exhibited in Barcelona in the Monastery of Pedralbes and the rest
on the Palacio de Villahermosa in Madrid.
collection is installed following a historical route. The order
of the numbering of the different rooms indicated the suggested
itinerary for the visitor. On the second floor, the Renaissance
and Classic periods are presented, as well as the German, Flemish,
French and Spanish painting rooms.
of the most important sections of the museum is of Dutch painting,
which is found on the first floor. In this room, one can encounter
Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting.
the first floor, we also find painting of all styles of the 20th
the basement is where we find the displays of temporary exhibitions.
September of 1992, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia inaugurated
the Permanent Collection of the Reina Sofia National Center of Art,
which until that moment had only been displayed in temporary exhibitions.
From then on, these works would constitute the National Museum.
Its objectives were and are to care for, increase and exhibit its
the origins of the building that today house the museum go quite
far back in time. In the second half of the 18th C., the architect
Francisco Sabatini was given charge of the construction of a hospital.
Sabatini, however, could not complete to project, erecting only
part of what had been planned. After that and practically until
our time, the Hospital suffered various modifications and additions,
managing to survive in spite of the numerous demands for its demolition.
Thanks to a Royal Decree approved in 1977, it was declared a historical
1980, Antonio Fernandez Alba began the restoration of the building.
Towards the end of 1988, Jose Luis Iñiguez de Onzoño
and Antonio Vazquez de Castro finished off the last modifications,
most notably the three towers of elevators, of glass and steel,
designed in collaboration with the British architect Ian Ritchie.
years earlier, in 1986, the inauguration of some areas of the Reina
Sofia Center of Art was celebrated, dedicating the celebration at
that time only to the temporary exhibitions, under the direction
of Carmen Gimenez, the director of the National Center of Exhibitions
of the Minister of Culture.
1988, a Royal Decree converted the Center into a National Museum,
substituting the Museo Español de Arte Contemporaneo. Its
first director would be Tomas Llorens, who was substituted in 1990
by Maria del Corral. In 1994, it named Jose Guirao Cabrera as new,
and current, director of the Center.
is a second option that we offer for those who desire to tour museums
of a scientific, rather than artistic, nature. We propose a visit
to the museums of Natural Sciences, Archeology and Anthropology.
this occasion, the distance between the museums is greater and therefore,
the use of public or private transport will be necessary. We begin
the route in the Museum of Natural Sciences and will continue through
the National Archeological Museum, for which it shall be necessary
to take transportation. The Archeological Museum is located behind
the National Library (Biblioteca Nacional), adjacent to the Plaza
del Colon. To get there, you can take any bus that goes down the
Paseo de la Castellana in the direction of Atocha, for example,
the 27 or the 14. In metro, get off at Metro Colon. After visiting
the Archeological Museum, you can walk to the Museum of Anthropology.
It requires about a 15- or 20-minute walk, but you can even extend
the walk by going through el Retiro, the green lung of Madrid, which
would make your visit even more pleasant.
the route before it, we will go on to tell a bit about the museums
from a historical point of view.
de Ciencias Naturales
collections of the National Museum of Natural Sciences have their
origin in the Royal Cabinet of Natural History, founded in 1771
by Carlos III. With more than 6 million specimens distributed throughout
several collections (Mineralogy and Petrology, Invertebrate Paleontology,
Paleobotany, Vertebrate Paleontology, Prehistory, Entomology, Non-insect
Invertebrates, Ichthyology, Herpetology, Birds and Mammals), the
museum can be considered one of the principal centers of reference
for fauna, not only Spanish, but Mediterranean, not to forget the
ample representation of exotic fauna accumulated in its collections
as a result of the scientific expeditions realized in the 18th and
19th centuries. Besides these historical displays, the collections
of the museum houses material that has been gathered much more recently,
attained as a result of the different research projects that have
been realized by researchers of the Museum in the last 25-50 years.
National Archeological Museum was created in 1867 by Isabel II through
a Royal Decree. Numismatic (coins and currency), archeological,
and other collections from the Superior School of Diplomacy had
to be stored here. These had been united by the Spanish monarchs
of the Austrian and Bourbon Houses and were in the Cabinet of Natural
History of the Royal Library.
first branch of the Archeological Museum was an old building situated
on Calle de Embajadores called El Casino de la Reina, where the
museum remained until 1895, the year in which its reserves were
moved definitively to the Palacio de la Biblioteca y Museos (Palace
of Libraries and Museums), where it remains today. During the years
that it was housed in the El Casino de la Reina, the number of pieces
grew notably thanks to the purchase of objects by the Scientific
Commissions that traveled through diverse Spanish provinces and
foreign countries, and the acquisition of a series of private collections,
some of substantial importance.
first transfer of collections to its current location was motivated
by the participation of the Archeological Museum in the commemorative
exhibitions of the IV Centennial of the Discovery of America. In
1895, under the presidency of Queen Maria Cristina, the National
Archeological Museum was officially inaugurated.
the 20th Century, the estate has increased thanks to donations,
bequests of will, purchases, public subscriptions and pieces from
its history there have been several restructurings of the Museum,
but the most profound began in 1968, considerably increasing its
surface area and exhibiting its pieces with modern museum criteria.
the halls of the museum are organized by periods (Iberico, Rome,
Greece, etc.). In the upper level, the library, coins and currency
room and an area reserved for temporary exhibitions can be found.
this museum, we can find the collections of diverse ethnic groups
of the five continents. There is also a collection of physical anthropology.
The base of its collections is the contributions made by the Spanish
expeditions of the 19th and 20th C.