The Museo del Prado (Prado Museum) is celebrating its 200th birthday. Today is a very special day for The Prado Museum in Madrid, one of the most important museums in the world and one of the most visited in Europe. On November 19, 1819, it opened its doors to the public for the first time with 311 paintings belonging to the Royal Collection and created by Spanish artists. Juan de Villanueva, an architect considered the greatest author of neoclassical architecture in Spain, designed the building that was at first the Royal Cabinet of Natural History and which finally came to house a large part of the royal paintings, thanks to María Isabel de Braganza, wife of King Fernando VII.
The Prado Museum is part of the list of European museums (such as the Louvre Museum in Paris) that originally housed royal art collections and finally opened their doors to the public.
The Prado Museum is a true jewel that houses the most complete collection of Spanish and European paintings in the world. As the distinguished American professor and hispanist Jonathan Brown said: “Not many would doubt that Prado Museum is the world’s most important museum of European paintings”.
The Prado Museum houses an extensive collection of more than 27,000 objects, of which 8,600 are paintings and more than 700 sculptures, although only around 1,150 paintings are on public display. With works dating from the 11th to the 20th century, the Prado offers a wonderful journey through the most exquisite Spanish, Italian and Flemish painting, also containing paintings from France, Germany, and Holland. Such geniuses and artists such as El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Sorolla, Durero, Rubens, El Bosco, Tiziano or Rembrandt have their paintings hanging on the walls of this unique museum.
On the occasion of the celebration of the Prado bicentenary, the museum officials are presenting an extensive program: exhibitions, conferences, shows, didactic visits, and media arts. To find out more about this program, we recommend you visit the Museum’s official website.
Madrid is the city of art. The Prado Museum is part of one of the most visited tourist routes in the capital: the Paseo del Arte (The Art Walk). Madrid’s three iconic museums: the Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and the Reina Sofía Museum are located within a mile of distance. However, Madrid, which became the capital of European art in 2019 with the Madrid Gallery Weekend, has infinite cultural and artistic possibilities to offer.
Locals and visitors can enjoy other important museums such as the National Archaeological Museum, the Museum of History of Madrid, the Museum of Romanticism, the Sorolla Museum or the Lázaro Galdiano Museum, in addition to many other thematic museums that delight both adults and the little ones.
Many tourists decide to come to Madrid to get to know its art and immerse in Spanish culture. They also come to the capital to learn the Spanish language, being aware of the vibrant social life of Madrid, its exquisite gastronomy and warm-hearted people.
The good news for all of you who are living in Madrid is that it is possible to learn the language and learn about Spanish art with the Spanish and a passion for art course. What could be better than learning Spanish while visiting the most important museums in the city?
The Prado Museum invites you to its 200th birthday party, it’s going to be a blast!