Guest Author - Rachel L Webb
Three internationally renowned arts museums in Madrid, have become known as The Walk of the Arts. The Prado Museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection and the Reina Sofia National Arts Centre.
All three museums are within walking distance of each and near the Botanical Gardens and massive Parque del Buen Retiro.
If you’re planning a trip to Madrid this area of Atocha is one of the nicer areas to base yourself in, and there is plenty more to see than art museums.
Madrid has fine and growing reputation in the world’s cultural scene, and these museums are located in avenues of trees, fountains, monuments and imposing architecture. The city’s most elegant hotels are found in this area, only minutes from the Atocha railway station.
The Prado Museum was originally planned and approved by King Charles III in 1785 as the Natural History Museum. The Prado collection of paintings is organised into three main sets: paintings from royal collections (more than three thousand), paintings from the merger with the Museum of the Trinity (more than two thousand) and the set called “New Acquisitions” (over three thousand five-hundred).
Within The Prado collections are works from El Greco, Ribera, Zurbaran, Velazquez, Murillo, Goya, Van der Weyden, Rubens, Titian, Bosch as well as coins, medals, sculptures and jewels.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection is in a French neo-classic designed palace, Palace of Villahermosa. It has a collection of nearly 1,000 paintings from the early 13th century to the last years of the 20th century.
Among its four collections there is a collection of American 19th century paintings, rather unusual for a European Gallery.
In the south corner of the “Walks of the Art” The Reina Sofia Art Centre is found in an 18th century hospital. It houses a fantastic collection of contemporary works, mainly Spanish and is home to the famous work by Picasso “Guernica”.
The Art Centre is used as a permanent museum, a temporary exhibition hall and a research department.
Madrid has many smaller and interesting museum such as the Train museum, Navy museum, Waxworks museum with Princess Di and mother Teresa.
Known as the city that never sleeps, that’s what you’d have to do in order to see all that’s on offer in Madrid, however long your trip you’ll want to return to explore it some more.
But choose your timing as it’s freezing in the winter and unbearably hot in summer.
The main airport is Barajas and there’s a good bus service to the centre, trains, and the underground are decent and reasonably priced for getting around the city.
If you’re looking to find hotel in Madrid or anywhere else, Hotels combined is a fabulously quick website that searches all the main favourites to come up with a choice of the best prices for you. Just type in the city or town you’re searching for and they’ll tell you all the hotels available.