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Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain top-rated tourist attraction

Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Spain Top-Rated Tourist Attraction

Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain top-rated tourist attraction

Museo Nacional del Prado

The Prado Museum, officially the Museo Nacional del Prado, is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. Based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, it is widely considered one of the world's finest collections of European art dating from the 12th to early 20th centuries, and the single finest collection of Spanish art. Founded in 1819 as a museum of paintings and sculptures, it also has important collections of other types of works. The Prado Museum is one of the most visited places in the world, and is considered one of the best art museums in the world. Francisco Goya, the single most widely represented artist, as well as numerous works by Hieronymus Bosch, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian and Diego Velazquez are some of the collection's highlights. Velazquez and his keen eye and sensitivity were also responsible for bringing to Spain much of the museum's fine collection of Italian masters, now one of the largest outside Italy. The collection currently contains around 8,200 drawings, 7,600 paintings, 4,800 prints and 1,000 sculptures, in addition to many other works of art and historical documents.

The building that is now home to the Museo Nacional del Prado was designed in 1785 by Spanish Enlightenment architect Juan de Villanueva for the Cabinet of Natural History commissioned by Charles III. Nevertheless, the final work on the building was not decided until the emperor's grandson, Ferdinand VII, encouraged by his wife, Queen Maria Isabel de Braganza, decided to use it as a new royal museum of paintings and sculptures.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain top-rated tourist attraction

The Museo del Prado is one of the buildings built during the reign of Charles III (Carlos III) as part of a grand building project designed to give Madrid a harmonious urban space. The building that houses the Museum of the Prado was originally conceived by José Monino y Redondo, the count of Floridablanca, and commissioned by Charles III in 1785 to rebuild the Paseo del Prado. To this end, Charles III called on one of his favorite architects, Juan de Villanueva, who was also the author of the nearby Botanical Gardens and Madrid's City Hall.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain top-rated tourist attraction

The Prado ("meadow") where the museum now stands is named after the area, Salone del Prado (later Paseo del Prado), and the museum itself after nationalization. Work on the building ceased towards the end of Charles III's reign and throughout the Peninsular War, and was resumed during the reign of Charles III's grandson, Ferdinand VII. During the war, the premises were used as cavalry headquarters and ammunition stores for the Napoleonic troops stationed in Madrid.

The subsequent renovation of this museum will be led by British architect Norman Foster. The reform was approved in June 2020 and is expected to take a minimum of four years.

Location: Paseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

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