Paseo del Prado, Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23, 28014 Madrid, Spain
GPS: 40.414401837547, -3.6914042924916
Travel info for Prado Museum Madrid: The most visited museum in Spain, the Prado Gallery is one of the largest art galleries in the world. In addition to its internationally renowned collection of paintings, the Prado Museum also exhibits thousands of valuable sculptures, drawings, engravings, prints, coins and decorative arts. Alongside the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, the Prado proudly occupies the cornerstone of the golden triangle of Spanish art in the Atocha-Mediodía district of Madrid.
Originally housed in two separate buildings (the Villanueva building, named after the Spanish architect Juan de Villanueva, and the Casón del buen retiro, dedicated to the study of art), the museum’s collection of paintings speaks for itself. It includes European artists and masterpieces from the Spanish Golden Age from the 14th to the early 19th century. Some of the Renaissance paintings are done on stone, white marble or slate. In the early 2000s, in order to make up for the lack of space in its art gallery, the Prado Museum underwent expansion and modernisation work. The latter included a baroque cloister of the neighbouring church of San Jerome the Royal, which now serves as an extension to the museum (El Cubo de Moneo) for its temporary exhibitions.
Initially desired by King Charles III, who wished to bring together a unique art collection in one place, the Prado Museum was finally created under the reign of Ferdinand VII in 1819 (one of the first public art museums in the world). It was located in the heart of one of Madrid’s main boulevards, the Paseo del Prado, with fountains and green spaces dating from the late 18th century. During the Spanish Civil War, the museum’s works of art were discreetly transferred to the city of Geneva to be protected from possible looting before being returned to the city of Madrid during the Second World War. In 2019, the Prado Art Gallery celebrated its bicentenary and honoured its greatest European artists: The painters El Greco (founder of the Spanish school of the 16th century), José de Ribera (nicknamed “lo Spagnoletto” because of his small size), Rembrandt (a high representative of the Dutch school), Francisco de Goya (a prominent portraitist), Fra Angelico (the “painter of angels”), Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Zurbarán and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (from the Sevillian Baroque school). .. A special exhibition tracing the history of this Spanish cultural institution, as well as temporary activities and exhibitions, marked the 200 years of existence of the Prado Museum, which is visited by 3 million people every year.