Category Archives: Museums in Madrid

The Prado Museum Madrid [Museo National del Prado]: Major Madrid Attraction

imageIf you are an art connoisseur or an avid museum goer and want nothing but the best Spanish and European art pieces in Madrid, there are actually a number of good options in the city. But everyone will agree that the best choice is the Prado Museum.

Located along Paseo del Prado, it houses the biggest and most comprehensive collection of paintings and artworks by artists from Spain and all over the world. Included in the collection are the prized creations by three of the most revered Spanish artists – Francisco Goya, El Greco and Diego Velazquez.

Prado Madrid – Birth of a National Museum

imageConstruction of the Museo del Prado begun in 1785, when the design work of the edifice was assigned by Charles II to prolific architect Villanueva. It was finally completed in 1819 under the reign of Ferdinand VII, despite the halting of construction work brought about by the Napoleonic Wars. Initially called the Royal Museum of Painting, it was renamed the National Museum of the Prado in 1868.

Facts about the Prado Spain Museum

1. In the 10 best museums in the world list for 2015, the thelocal.es website ranks Prado as number four overall, beating Louvre of France, which is number 5. First in the list is the Metropolitan museum of New York.

2. If there is one distinct difference between Prado Museum and Louvre museum – you can take photographs inside the Louvre, while Prado prohibits visitors from doing so within its premises. I had been to both, and while I was reprimanded by a Prado curator for having taken a stolen shot, I had tons of Louvre photos as souvenirs, even a selfie that shows the Mona Lisa (although I believe the Mona Lisa was on display then was not the original).

3. The Las Meninas by Velazquez is the most important painting in the Museum’s collection. The art piece is unique in that one figure seen in the painting is Velazquez himself.

1024px-Las_Meninas,_by_Diego_Velázquez,_from_Prado_in_Google_EarthDiego Velázquez [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

4. Franciaso Goya’s art work constitutes a good portion of the museum’s entire collection that his sculpture is displayed outside the museum in his honor. One of Goya’s work that’s worth seeing is the naked Maja, or the La Maja desnuda. This particular painting caused people to accuse him of obscenity.

image5. Museo del Prado belongs to the so-called The Golden Triad or Triangle of Art of Madrid, the top three art museums close to each other within the Prado vicinity. The other two are the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, a private museum of contemporary art, and Reina Sofia Museum, also national museo that features the finest in contemporary artwork.

6. Another painting that’s a must-see by Prado visitors is the Descent of the Cross by Rogier van der Weyden, a renowned painter from Belgium. This particular painting is filled with remarkable details, with the artist succeeding in making the work so life-like. Anyone would notice how the body of Jesus as it is being lowered down and the fallen Mary, His Mother, had been similarly positioned by the artist.

7. The museum houses more or less 7,600 paintings and 1000 sculptures, all of which are high in value, both historical and monetary. As many as 3 million visitors are welcomed by the museum every year.

Nearby Madrid attractions

imageOne of the more popular churches in the area, San Jeronimo el Real has been serving the vicinity since the 10th century
imageMuseo Naval is a popular museum near the area. Also known as the Naval Museum of Madrid, it is highly visited because of its rich display of ancient and valuable historical items from the Spanish Navy
imageThe Royal Botanical Garden is in front of the Murillo Gate of the museo
imageStatue of Neptune (Neptuno) along the Paseo del Prado
imagePalacio de Cibeles is just a block away from the museum, and holds its own cultural and arts expositions at the Centro Centro. Also called the Palacio de Communicaciones, it dwarfs everything else within the Plaza Cibeles

How to go:

Direccion – Paseo del Prado 28014 Madrid

Prado Museum tickets:

Price of Admission is 14 euros

Take advantage of the free admission

Monday to Saturday: 6 to 8 PM

Sunday and holidays: 5 to 7 PM

Prado Museum hours:

The museum is open everyday of the year, except December 25, January 1, May 1

Regular opening hours

Monday to Saturday: 10AM to 8PM

Sunday and Holiday: 10AM to 7PM

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Museo de los Canos del Peral – Underground Archeological Museum in Madrid

Those who dig archaeological finds (excuse the pun), and derive immense excitement from the sight of valuable remnants of the past must certainly visit the Museo de la Canos del Peral. Often called Museo del Peral, this underground archeological Madrid museum is situated in Centro Madrid, where many other major tourist spots and attractions are found,such as the Palacio de Cibeles, Plaza del Callao, and Palacio Real.

imageon top

Indeed, while there are so many outstanding museos scattered in the city, here is one that’s totally underground and offers easy access since it is right within the premises of the Opera Metro. You can easily enter it via the station, which itself is situated in the midst of the popular Plaza de Isabel II.

During the early 16th and 17th centuries when they were still in operation, the structures were regarded to be of utmost importance to the Madrid residents and the whole city itself. In fact, it is known that before the installation of these structures, water was a highly prized and sought-after commodity – it was because the necessary supply was not able to reach the homes of Madrid.

The display of this museum in Madrid is quite limited, but it is enough for the visitors to fully appreciate the importance of the antiquated aqueduct structures on display, as well as the story behind them. They were discovered around the area of the Plazuela de Peral, the former name of the current Plaza de Isabel II.

Arenal’s sewer system was also helpful in solving one of the city’s major problems – sewerage disposal. The system effectively brought wasted waters into the Leganitos Stream, and also at Cuesta de San Vicente, up to this day.

Apart from the aqueduct, also found are hydraulic structures; they are actually uncovered and identified to be so during the time when the Metro station was fixed and renovated.

Where to find: Inside the Opera Metro Station
Metro lines to take: Line 2 and Line 5
Admission price: Always Free, at all times that it is open
Visiting days: The museum is only open from Friday to Sunday. It is closed during Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
Time the museum is open: 11AM to 1PM, 5PM to 7PM

imageYou can enter the underground museum of Canos del Peral through Opera Station right within the Plaza Isabel II – the entrance is free. The Real Cinema Theatre is in the background
imageWhat are displayed on the museum are aqueduct structures, which were of great importance then as they were tasked to bring the supply of water to the Palacio Real. These  archeological remains reminded me very much of the ruins at Palacios Nazaries at Alhambra, Granada of Andalucia
imageThe museo is one of the popular free museums in Madrid, accepting visitors by the thousands every week
imageThis archeological structure served during the early times of Madrid, to bring water supply to the city
imageMannequins in beautiful gowns are on display alongside the ruins, which appear to be connected to  El Bestiario by Opera de Oviedo and Teatro Real of Madrid
imageSimply called the Peral Museum, it is recognized as a top archaeological museo in Madrid that’s found underground
imageThe mannequins visitors will find on display at Museo Peral promotes the El Bestiario, a sung ballet under the choreography of Nuria Castejon

Metro Museo: Plaza de Chamberi Ghost Museum in Madrid

Had your fill of the conventional museums that are aplenty, found in almost every barrio of the city?  Looking for a museum in Madrid that veers away from the norm? Here’s one museo that’s quite different from the rest — the Metro Museum in Plaza de Chamberi, Madrid.

imageLine from Station Chamberi to Tetuan

Fantasma de Estacion de Metro de Chamberi

imageOld-styled metal entrance to the station – a recreation. This ghost station at Chamberi boasts of over 170,000 visitors

It was functioning at first, like any other Madrid Metro station. In fact, it was one of the original stations of Linea 1 that ran from Cuatro Camino to Puerta del Sol. However, for whatever reason, the early administration of the train system had to  close it down.

Fast track to current times, and the metro is now a museo.

I had the chance to visit it just recently. And indeed, as soon as I stepped inside, somehow I experienced that feel of an eerie air that seems to pervade all around.  It is the same weird, if not ghastly feeling you might get if you ride the metro, and try to have a glimpse of the station as the train passes through it.

imageThe old Line 1 included stations that are also found in the modern line, like Cuatro Caminos and Estrecho

 imageOld notices on the ticket prices posted on the Wall

This must be the reason why it is called the Ghost station of Madrid. While the area quite had the ghostly feel, nothing of the supernatural occurred. Thankfully, no fastasma showed up, as seeing one would really scare the daylights out of me. At any rate, I’m sure Madrid Metro and the people behind the museo don’t mind the title – it might even add great to prospective visitors, instead of scaring them.

imageCompanies had their advertisements painted into the tiled walls of the metro

While this metro stop is not useful anymore as a station, it certainly served well in the past, as it acted as a major shelter for civilians who needed a safe place to stay during the Civil war. It was also used as  a warehouse where vital supplies were hidden.

imageGal was one of the major companies that advertised at Chamberi Station. You will have a good glance of it and other old advertisements still posted on the tiled walls, as well as the early logos of the train system as you look through the train window as it passes through

The fantasma museo concept started in 2008, when the railway management decided to reopen it but as a museum. Everything within, specifically the design and display, was the work of Spanish architect Antonio Palacios, the same genius who was commissioned to design the Palacio de Cibeles. He was also responsible in creating the interior areas of the early  station.

imageTrain runs fast that you could see as it bypasses the Chamteri Station

Metro Museum in Madrid is compact, its area is more or less similar to that of the current modern stations. In fact, you can explore the place and finish the tour in under thirty minutes. Still, it was effective in providing interesting facts about the history of the station. Needless to say,  the museum offers an interesting glimpse to the beginnings of Plaza Chamberi station.

imageCarabana is another company that has its ad posted at the tiled wall of the station

imageThe ad is literally translated as “Philips Lamps – the best in the world”

imageEntrance to the museum

Where located: Plaza de Chamberi, Madrid

Touring Days & Hours:

1. Friday – 11AM to 1PM and 5PM to 7PM

2. Saturday and Sunday – 10AM to 2PM

How to go: The fastest and nearest line to take is Line 1. Get off at either Station Iglesia or Bilbao, and a few minutes of walking will bring you to your destination. If you go down at Metro Iglesia, you must take Calle de Santa Engracia

imageThere is also a film showing at the end of the tour. People are fortunate to be treated to a unique Madrid museo that features the Old Metro. My visit was invaluable as it transported me to the past; ticket machines and booths, the yellow and tarnished signs, the wall ads – all are reminders of the good old Metro Station at Chamberi

Plaza de Chamberi: A Beautiful Madrid Square

After a interesting tour of the museum, I thought that the Plaza de Chamberi is the next place for me to check out. In fact, my original plan is to see just the museum, but realized that the plaza is just nearby. And so, off to it I go. One thing I noticed about the place is that it’s well-kept. The promenades within are clean, like they are swept of fallen leaves at all times of the day. You can enjoy the sight of a fountain, its water supply flowing creating a number of water spouts in the middle. Also found in the midst of the fountain are three child statues. Also found within the square are the church, the municipal hall, and a few local bars.

Beautiful Images of Plaza de Chamberi, Madrid

imagePlaza y Iglesia of Chamberi – beautiful and well-maintained, one that you would like to stay all afternoon even on a hot summer day

image A safe place that’s conducive for child’s play. At the foreground is the Iglesia delas Siervas de Maria (Convent of the Servants of Mary) by Francisco de Cubas

imageFountain in the midst of the Chamberi plaza

imageSenor Francisco Largo Caballero, a popular politician and union leader, was born in Chamberi

imageMarker of the El Racing Club attached to the wall of the Municipal Hall. The organization, which was created in 1914 was popularly associated to the place

imageThis beautiful walkway within the plaza leads to the Iglesia de las Siervas de Maria

imageA fews bars and cafes situated alongside the municipio are frequented by locals

imageSimple yet elegant facade of the municipal hall

 

Visit Fuencarral’s History of Madrid Museum

imageThere’s one museum in Madrid, Spain that’s worth visiting, if only for its beautiful Baroque facade — it’s the History of Madrid Museum, located in the beautiful barrio of Malasana, along the street of Fuencarral.

Originally the Museo de Ayuntamiento (Municipality), the Museo de Historia de Madrid welcomes every individual who wants a dose of Madrid’s rich and romantic history.

imageThe edifice was designed and built by Spanish architect Pedro de Ribera while having the detailed style of Baroque in Mind. It boasts of several floors on which are scattered 14 large rooms or salas. Every space is filled with valuable art pieces — painting, ceramics, sculptures, silverware, all of which tell about the birth and development of the capital, and stories of how it came to be today.

You can only imagine the richness and significance of the collections on display in this historical museum in Madrid. Apart from the conventional art pieces, you can find ancient plans, maps, drawings, and other city implements and tools that helped in the planning, creation, and advancement of Madrid as a city.

imageTo further ensure the display of a complete collection, Madrid museum collaborates with the Prado Museum — the latter loans a number of its own artwork for display at the historical museum. Some of the art pieces on loan are the Felipe II sculpture, the Canvas Antonio Arias; Felipe V painting by Rigaud, Palacio del Buen Retiro by Bautista Martínez del Mazo, 18th century tapestries, and cartoon illustrations by Jose del Castillo and Ramon Bayeu.

Why I love the History of Madrid Museum?

image1. First of all, it’s easy and convenient to reach. From its parada at Plaza de Castilla, you can take the 149 autobus and within 20 minutes, your ride will have reached its destination. If you’re taking the subway, the Tribunal Metro Station is just a short walk along Fuencarral Street. The museo, by the way, is right in front of the old Tribunal building.

2. The location is perfect if you who want to go and further explore Madrid as soon as you’re done checking out the museo. As it is, the site is situated in the heart of the city, very near major Madrid attractions and tourist areas such as Puerta del Sol, Plaza de Espana, Gran Via, or even the Debod Temple.

Perhaps, all that soaking up and discovering of the history of the country’s capital has got you hungry or wanting to go shopping, right?

image3. I’m not sure about their picture-taking policy, but I think it’s permitted to have some shots of the place / art on display. A staff happened to be nearby and was seemingly indifferent as I took some photos. So, I guess it’s okay, just do it a bit discreetly.

4. Best of all, Madrid museum tickets are free. You don’t have to pay even a single centavo just to get in — it’s free all all opening hours, everyday of the week.

Address:

Calle Fuencarral 78 28004 Madrid

Days Open:

Tuesday to Sundays – 9:30AM to 8PM (The museum is open all days of the year except December 25, January 1, and May 1)

How to Go:

imageAuto Bus: Apart from 149, you can also take the 40 and 147 buses
Madrid Metro: Ride line 10 (Line 1 is unavailable until November due to construction work done)

Admission Ticket price:

Free

Map of Museo de Historia de Madrid: