The Museo Nacional del Prado is one of the largest and most significant art museums in the world. The collections showcase artworks from the greatest painters of Europe. Particularly, the work of Spanish artists are represented here as well as the work of artists from all over Europe: Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany.
Since 2007, the Prado has been enlarged through an additional building. For this reason, parts of the Jerónimo monastery were restored and being made accessible to the public as an additional exhibition space. The enlargement was part of a perpetual enlargement process of the museum.
The collection of the Prado offers artworks by El Greco, Murillo, Velázquez, Goya, Botticelli, Titian, Raphael, Rubens, Van Dyck, Dürer and Rembrandt. Furthermore, there are drawings, prints, sculptures and art-historical documents.
Due to the abundance of artworks and to make sure the visitors make the most of their time here, the museum has created customized tours leading through the museum. On those tours, the visitors are guaranteed to see at least the highlights of the exhibition within an adequate time-slot.
The building of what is nowadays the museum, was built in 1785 in the period of Carlos III. and was initially planned to become a scientific museum. However, those in charge could not find a mutual agreement regarding the purpose of the building until Carlos' great-grandson Ferdinand VII. expressed his wish to create a museum in Madrid similar to the Parisian Louvre. The aim was to exhibit the royal treasures of Spanish art as well as the rest of Europe and especially demonstrate the skills of Spanish painters. After a long process of renovation and re-shaping the building, the museum was finally opened in 1819. In the beginning, exclusively Spanish paintings were shown here, although the royal family possessed a unique collection of European art.
How to get there
The museum lies in the heart of Madrid at the Paseo del Prado, where the most significant museums of the country are located.
By public transport:
By subway, you either get off at the station “Atocha” or “Banco de España”.
You can also take the bus lines 9, 10, 14, 19, 27, 34, 37 and 45 taking you directly to the Prado.
The museum is accessible via four entrances.