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Museums in Madrid

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Spain
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Royal Palace of Madrid
Madrid's Royal Palace was built in the 18th century by order of Philip V on the site of the old Alcázar fortress, a former Moorish castle. Sachetti began the works in 1738, and the building was completed in 1764. Sabatini designed the southeast wing and the great staircase, or staircase of honour. It has a square floor plan with a large central courtyard. The Puerta del Príncipe gateway on the east side gives access to the central courtyard. The Sabatini and Campo del Moro Gardens are among the Palace's other attractions, as well as its several different façades. There is some debate as to its artistic style; it is thought by some experts to belong more to the Baroque, and by others to the Neo-classical style. Of particular note among its numerous rooms are the Royal Guards' Room, the Columns Room, the Hall of Mirrors and King Charles III's room. It also contains paintings by Velázquez, Goya, Rubens, El Greco and Caravaggio.
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Prado Museum
This gallery in Madrid has the most complete collection of Spanish painting from 11th-18th centuries, and numerous masterpieces by great universal artists such as El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Bosch, Titian, Van Dyck and Rembrandt. The quality and variety of its collection makes the Prado one of the world's best-endowed museums. It combines a first-class collection of Spanish painting, the most important works of the Flemish and Italian schools, and various fine examples of the German, French and English schools. It is home to numerous masterpieces of universal art such as Las Meninas by Velázquez, the two Majas by Goya, Nobleman with his hand on his chest by El Greco, the Garden of Delights by Bosch, and The Three Graces by Rubens, among other priceless pieces. Although the museum was created to house primarily works of painting and sculpture, it also contains major collections of drawings, engravings, coins and medals, as well as items of clothing and decorative art.
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Plaza de Cibeles
The stunning Palacio de Cibeles is not only the headquarters of Madrid City Council, it is also home to CentroCentro. A recent addition to the renowned Paseo del Arte, the cultural centre boasts a packed programme of activities that revolve around the city and includes exhibitions, workshops, conferences and concerts. Next to the entrance hall, where you’ll find interactive information screens, there is a colourful lounge where visitors can sit back and read, connect to WiFi or enjoy some people-watching through the large windows that look out onto Plaza de Cibeles. The building has two restaurants: Colección Cibeles on the ground floor and Palacio de Cibeles on the 6th. Both are open Monday to Sunday. Also on the sixth floor is Terraza Cibeles, a great rooftop bar where you can relax with a pre-dinner drink or mid-afternoon snack as you take in the wonderful views of the Plaza de Cibeles and the Madrid skyline. For even more breathtaking vistas, head up to the Mirador observation deck on the 8th floor.
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National Sculpture Museum
This exhibition is an outstanding testament to the quality of Spanish sculpture from the Middle Ages through to the 19th century.Its collection includes a range of sculptures (altarpieces, choir stalls, funerary monuments, processional statues...) and materials (wood, bronze, stone, clay and ivory).
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Museo Wuerth La Rioja
The Würth Museum has been designed as a 20th-21st avant-garde international contemporary arts scenario. Here the works belonging to the Würth España collection will be exhibited, as well as those of the Würth Collection from Germany, considered one of the main ones in Europe and collected thanks to the initiative of Professor Dr. h.c. Reinhold Würth since the 1960s.
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Viana Palace
This palace museum has an extensive collection of items from Cordoba including furniture and coffered objects. Of particular note is the staircase which gives access to the upper floor. This stately mansion was originally a single building that was extended with the adjoining buildings, and today occupies a large area with a predominance of courtyards and gardens.
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Episcopal Palace
This Modernist building in the neo-Gothic style consists of a castle, church and stately mansion, and is the site of the Los Caminos Museum. This monument was designed by Gaudí himself in 1887, although it was ultimately completed by the architect Luis de Querejeta.
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National Museum of Ceramics
In honour of the Valencian ceramics industry, the González Martí National Museum of Ceramics is located in what is considered to be the best example of Baroque architecture in Spain, the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas. The museum houses the largest national collection of ceramics, dating from the 18th century to the contemporary period, and includes pieces by Picasso. A museum in which you can also find merchandise from the Silk Route and discover how they lived in one of the most iconic Valencian noble families of the age.
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The University of Navarre Museum
A building designed by Rafael Moneo, which holds a contemporary art collection that includes artists such as Tàpies, Picasso, Kandinsky and Chillida. It is also home to a major photo collection.
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Ria de Bilbao Maritime Museum
The Ría de Bilbao Maritime Museum was opened in 2003. Designed by the architect Juan Francisco Paz, the museum is located under the Euskalduna Bridge. The building, with a surface area of 7,000 square metres, is built using stone, steel and wood, materials that recall the ones used in shipbuilding. The lobby is the pivotal point of the whole inner space, as it provides access to the exhibition area, the store, coffee shop, workshops and media library. The outside area of the museum is the old dry docks of the former Astilleros Euskalduna shipbuilders and has a surface area of 20,000 square metres.
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Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao
The origin of the current museum is in the first Fine Arts Museum, founded in 1908 and opened in 1914 and the Modern Art Museum opened in 1924. Both institutions and their collections were united in 1945, the year that the old building was constructed. The collection of the Fine Arts Museum, which opened in 1914, brings together over seven thousand works of art, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper and applied arts, with an outstanding heritage spanning from the twelfth century to the present. It contains important examples of ancient, modern and contemporary painting and has a special interest in the Spanish school of art and in Basque artists, by whom it has a large collection of works.
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Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Designed by Canadian American architect Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao building represents a magnificent example of the most groundbreaking 20th-century architecture. With 24,000 m2, of which 9.000 are dedicated to exhibition space, the Museum represents an architectural landmark of audacious configuration and innovating design, providing a seductive backdrop for the art exhibited in it. Altogether, Gehry’s design creates a spectacular sculpture-like structure, perfectly integrated within Bilbao’s urban pattern and its surrounding area.
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The Diocesan Cathedral Museum
This is an old Gothic building which dates back to the 13th and 14th century. Its altarpiece is a superb example of Spanish Renaissance sculpture carved in alabaster by Damián Forment between 1520 and 1533, representing the Passion of Christ.
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Prehistory and Archaeology Museum of Cantabria
Most of the 1,200 objects on display in this museum date from the period between the Upper Palaeolithic and the Iron Age.
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Cantabrian Maritime Museum
The Cantabrian Maritime Museum is in Santander Bay. It is an attractive, modern building, and was born as a tribute to this northern Spanish region and its sea. Over 3,000 square metres, it aims to show the relationship between man and the maritime world throughout history.
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Salzillo Musuem
The origin of this museum dates back to the 19th century. At that time, the life and work of Francisco Salzillo were soon enveloped by popular legends of romantic taste.
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Museum of Santa Clara
On the Islamic-Mudejar palace of the Emir of Murcia, Ibn Hud, the monastery of Santa Clara was founded, which since 1365 houses the Clarisas nuns. In this building come several centuries of history and different cultures such as Islamic, Gothic and Baroque. The museum space and the nuns coexist in total harmony. It conserves one of the oldest Arabic pools in Spain.
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Museum of the Cathedral of Murcia
The most important temple in the Region is a magnificent merge of styles, a catalogue of stone which summarizes more than six centuries of art and history. Its construction began in 1394 over the remains of an old Arabic mosque and in 1462 its vaults were finished. The oldest entrance is La Puerta de Los Apóstoles (the door of the Apostles). Its only storefront is flanked by pointed archivolts with statues of the apostles on it. La Puerta de las Cadenas( the door of the Chains) dates from 1513 and has original pilasters and archivolts. From the 15th century dates the Capilla de Los Vélez covered by a ten-pointed star vault and profusely decorated. Another famous chapel is that of Junterón, whose oval ground plan is covered by an extremely original vault. Its baroque main façade (Imafronte), Jaime Bort¿s work, is an exaltation of Levantine art (the 18th century eastern Spain art). It is divided as an altarpiece into two parts and three vertical sections. The tower, divided into five parts, is 92 meters high. Its construction started in 1511 and the fifth body hosts twenty-five church bells
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Palace of the Duke of Mandas
Standing in the Cristina Enea Park, the building is presently occupied by the Fundación Cristina Enea, created to raise awareness on environmental issues and sustainability. The present distribution of the mansion, which dates from 1890, is the work of Jose de Osinalde. Today is ground floor is occupied by the Fundacion Cristina Enea. Entering through the front door, you will come to the reception and the large wooden stairway. The second floor houses the office ones used by the Duke of Mandas and two exhibition spaces. Lastly, the building has a gallery for traveling exhibitions that connect the main building to an educational room in the former chapel. There is also a rest area for visitors.
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Grao Vasco National Museum
Created in 1916 and deeply remodelled between 2001 and 2003, Grão Vasco Museum was established in the Três Escalões Palace, next to the Viseu Cathedral, where the old seminary used to be.
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Lleida Museum
The new home of the Lleida Diocesan and District Museum opened its doors to the public in November 2007, becoming the city's flagship museum. Visitors to its more than 7000 square metres of exhibition space are plunged into the history of Lleida. A story which begins with prehistory and continues up to the modern era.
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National Museum of Underwater Archaeology
ARQUA Museo Nacional de Arqueología Subacuática is the institution in charge of studying, valuing, investigating, preserving, disseminating and protecting the Spanish underwater cultural heritage. It is also home to the Permanent Observatory for the National Plan for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage. These tasks are carried out in collaboration with the different regional governments and its research centres and in cooperation with the States who partner with the UNESCO Convention. Furthermore, the ARQUA has recently taken charge of the Odyssey’s treasure. The Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes frigate collection, which consists of more than 570,000 gold and silver coins from the late 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century.
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The Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum of Seville has its origins at the end of the 19th century, when a public collection of antiquities was created, most of it taken from the Roman city Italica.
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Niemeyer Centre
This great cultural centre is the first work by the architect Oscar Niemeyer in Spain.It is located on the Aviles estuary, five minutes from the town's historic centre on foot. Its broad cultural programme of international activities includes exhibitions, plays, dances, films, concerts, conferences and gastronomic activities.
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Guitar Museum Antonio de Torres
The Museum of Spanish Guitar ‘Antonio de Torres’ is more than a museum space, an exhibition and information center that will allow visitors to learn in a fun and easy way primary keys of one of the most popular musical instruments around the world as is the guitar. The most played and produced in the history of world music instrument comes from the hand of its maximum precursor, the luthier Antonio Torres, considered the father of contemporary guitar. Therefore, among the objectives of this project the Culture of the City of Almería as the main driving force behind the same aims that visitors actively participate in the museum itself and, by extension, in the cultural life of the city of Almeria. The Museum offers participants much more than a simple succession of pieces, it is a surprising, relevant, educational, interactive and attractive cultural space, open to the public and visitors.
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Archeological Museum Almeria
The museum, recently reconstructed modern building, located on the Carretera de Ronda, houses inter esantesfondos with valuable works from prehistory to the Muslim period. In addition, the museum was awarded the European Museum of the Year Award in 2008, and inside, in addition to continuous exposure other activities such as conferences, exhibitions and festivals are held.
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Museu de Reus Salvador Vilaseca
The museum presents exhibits dating from prehistoric times through to the modern age.
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Museo del Patrimonio Municipal
Here is a permanent display of a selection from the historic and artistic Municipal Heritage. Paintings, sculptures and graphic works including works by Picasso or Carlos Haes.
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Biscainhos Museum
Located in a 16th century manor house, the museum has a permanent collection of furniture, ceramics, glass and clocks displayed in situ to recreate the decor of an 18th century manor house
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Aveiro Museum
Aveiro Museum is one of the centrepieces of this picturesque historical city in west-central Portugal. The museum encompasses the buildings of the Jesus Monastery, with its church, cloisters and other convent buildings, and was established as long ago as 1911.
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The Military Museum of Porto
The Military Museum of Porto (Museu Militar do Porto) is housed in a 19th century building in the Bonfim district of Porto, in what was formerly the headquarters of the feared secret police - PIDE (Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado) during the time of Salazar and the Estado Novo (New State).
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National Museum of the Chateau de Pau
Restored in the 19th century and classified National Museum, it presents 1000 years of history and offers visitors a rich decorative ensemble, as well as an impressive collection of Gobelins tapestries from the 16th to the 19th century.
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Fine Arts Museum
In addition to Degas's masterpiece " The Cotton Office in New Orleans" , the museum presents a very fine collection of paintings from Flemish, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and French schools from the 15th to the 20th century. It is the second museum of Aquitaine by the richness of its collections.
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The Cloisters of Santo Domingo
In 1264 the troops of Alfonso X conquer Jerez definitively to the Muslims. At that time, the monarch gave the Dominicans a military building of Islamic origin located in front of the door of Seville, to found their convent there. The first century of existence of the monastery of Santo Domingo had to be very hard, since the attacks by the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada and its North African allies were constant. The convent of Santo Domingo remained a united group until 1835, when the different confiscations of the liberal governments of Isabel's reign decreed the exclaustration and seizure of the assets of the convent. Although the church remained open to worship, the cloisters were sold. In the beginning, the owners were Los González, an important family of winemakers from Santander Mountain, who installed here the so-called Museum of Santo Domingo, a kind of trinket in which works of art, furniture and other decorative objects were sold. Then the complex became the property of the Díez family, who installed a cellar in the old bedroom and made a series of somewhat aggressive works with the monument. Los Dietros sold Los Claustros to the Rumasa holding company, which was expropriated in 1983, becoming the property of the City Council, which used it as cultural equipment for years. In 1999 the complex was closed for restoration, reopening its doors in 2012.
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Joaquin Rivero Collection
The Pinacoteca de Bodegas Tradición is made up of a selection of works belonging to the Joaquín Rivero Collection of Spanish painting. As of June 2006, a winery warehouse, after a laborious work of conditioning, will permanently house such important works, so that any visitor can enjoy them. The Joaquín Rivero Collection is one of the most important exhibited in Andalusia. Its fundamental characteristic is that it brings together more than 300 works of great masters of Spanish painting in a collection of private art, from the 15th to the 19th centuries. In it are represented all the important artistic movements that have been produced throughout the history of Spanish painting, as well as the authors who by their own significance make up the artistic scene of the moment: Zurbarán, Velázquez, Hiepes, Labrador, Valdés Leal, Goya, Maella, Lucas Velázquez, Madrazo, Lucas Villamil, Carlos de Haes and many other authors that will allow our visitors to walk through the history of Spain through his painting.
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Alcazar of Jerez de la Frontera
The Alcázar de Jerez one of the most emblematic monuments of the city. Located in the southeast corner of the walled enclosure, forming a complex defensive system with the walls, towers and gates. The term alcazar, comes from Arabic, al-qasr and defines a set of buildings, surrounded by walls, which were the seat of political and military power. Fortress-palace with autonomous operation, a small city, seat of power that governed the city and its territory. From the original Islamic fortress, the two doors are preserved; the mosque, the Arab baths; the octagonal tower and the Pavilion of the Doña Blanca patio, located at the foot of this tower.
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