Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23 Madrid
Although many museums call Madrid home, none rivals the Prado in size, prestige or pedigree. Created to house the royal art collection, the Prado made history in 1819 when it became one of the world’s first public art galleries. Since then, both the collection and the building have expanded. The museum now owns more than 17,000 works, including some of the most famous Old Master paintings.
The Prado isn’t nearly as big as the Louvre, but it can be equally overwhelming. To make the most of your visit, decide which pieces you want to see most and plan accordingly, or hire one of Indagare’s art historians who can help you navigate the treasures and remind you of their provenance and importance. Velázquez’s Las Meninas, Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights and Rubens’s Three Graces will top many lists, as will the amazing collection of Goyas. One Indagare editor who visited recently recommends starting a Goya tour with the lighter paintings of his earlier years then going directly downstairs to view his Black Paintings; the contrast is extraordinary.
The Prado followed the stellar example set by the Reina Sofía and built a modern addition. The 237,000-square-foot extension, designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, not only created a wonderful contemporary setting, including a pretty rooftop garden, but also freed up space to display more of the museum’s collection. Both architecture critics and visitors are thrilled.
Note: The Prado stops selling tickets two hours before closing. It is highly recommended to buy tickets ahead of time to avoid waiting in line or missing out.
Written by Henley Vazquez