Private guided tour of Madrid’s gems: Its museums.
Madrid has an enormous amount of museums, palaces and monuments that one can visit. You can pick and choose according to your interests. We suggest that you do not miss: Royal Palace, Prado Museum, Reina Sofia Museum and Thyssen-Bornemizsa which are Madrid’s prize possessions. If you would like to visit other museums, just let us know.
Without a doubt, the Palacio Real de Madrid is one of the main royal properties in Europe. National Heritage of Spain is a public institution that includes those 9 buildings that were in the hands of the monarchs and now they are in the hands of the Spanish citizens. Today the Royal family have these buildings in perpetual use, according to the Spanish Constitution, but they are not the owners of this legacy as they were before. From those 9 buildings, 4 of them are the 4 main palaces for the 4 seasons, featuring Madrid winter palace located at Plaza de Oriente, Madrid´s core. Its imposing location on a high site overlooking the river Manzanares makes this 18th century palace one of the most grandiose of its kind. Some of the most important artists of the period were involved in its design and interior decoration. Madrid’s Royal Palace is used for the solemn ceremonies of the Crown and displays historic items of maximum importance for the cultural identity of Spain and the world.
The Prado Museum is considered one of the greatest painting museum in the world according to some remarkable art experts. Art lovers travelling all over Europe know that this museum is a must. In its days of glory, the Spanish Empire was Europe´s greatest, filling its coffers with gold from the New World and art from the Old. Although there are thousand of paintings in the collection, it is necessary to be selective focusing on the masterpieces.
That is the reason why Museo del Prado is absolutely unique. It has the best of the best. The best works from the best masters. Some names? Fra Angelico, Mantegna, Raphael, Corregio, Caravaggio, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, El Greco, Van der Weyden, Bosch, Brueghel, Durer, Rubens, Velazquez, Zurbaran, Murillo, Goya, Sorolla, etc.
The Reina Sofia Museum is the best place to understand that conflictive Spain of the 20th-century. Not only the bloody Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939) but also those years before and after. The museum is the best guide to modern and contemporary art discovering the artists, their styles, and the times in which they lived. The 20th century, accelerated by technology and shattered by wars, produced art as chaotic as the times. Spain case is fascinating. There was a wide variety of art styles “-isms” and many new media. Many artists abandoned photorealism to paint colorful patterns in order to give a new perspective or express a larger truth. Some examples? Abstract art by Miro, Surrealism by Dali, Cubism by Picasso.
“Guernica” by Picasso is supposed to be the masterpiece of World Painting in the history of the 20th century. The most impressive piece of pacifist art in the most violent century of mankind. Pablo Picasso´s monumental canvas is not only a piece of art but a slice of history, capturing the horror of modern war in a modern style. The cruelty of Franco, the fascist dictator, against Spanish citizens in the Basque region and all over Spain.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is an art gallery about paintings rather than painters. It displays the impressive collection that the late Baron Thyssen sold to Spain. His Spanish wife, the Baronesse chose Madrid as the right enclave for this exclusive collection. The museum offers a unique chance to enjoy the sweep of all of art history, including a good sampling of the “isms” of the 20th century, in one collection. It´s basically minor works by major artists and major works by minor artists. But art lovers appreciate how the good baron & baronesse art complements the Prado and the Sofia´s collections by filling in where those two are weak, such as Impressionism, which is the Thyssen´s forte.
|Tour type:||Walking tour|
|Amount of walking::||Light|
* Museo Prado opens everyday. Museo Sofia closes on Tuesdays. Museo Thyssen closes on Mondays.
Palacio Real opens everyday excluding Official Ceremonies days.
* Museum fees are NOT included. Kids, teens and elder people have special discounts or free access.
* "SpainFred" guide access to expres box office. "SpainFred" skips all lines in museums.