A Day in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain

In the main exhibition hall, first floor
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A Day in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain

We started our second day in Madrid later than usual. We had breakfast in our hotel and left at around 10 AM. Museo del Prado is the only place in our itinerary for that morning.

Museo del Prado in Madrid
Museo del Prado in Madrid

The weather was beautiful in Madrid. Because of this, we decided to walk to the museum by following the directions in Google Maps. We reached the place in approximately 25 minutes.

Walking in the streets of Madrid
Walking in the streets of Madrid

Museo del Prado is a world-famous museum that is located on Paseo del Prado in central Madrid. The building was originally constructed in 1785 for the Natural History Cabinet. The building was soon turned into the National Museum of Paintings and Sculptures, and was opened to public in 1819. By then, it had already taken the name of Museo Nacional Del Prado.

Statue of Goya in front of Museo del Prado entrance
Statue of Goya in front of Museo del Prado entrance
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We met Fernando Coronado, our English-speaking tour guide, by the entrance. The museum’s main wing had a commanding bronze statue of a Spanish painter named Diego Velazquez that overlooked the columned entrance.

A huge painting replica infront of Museo del Prado
A huge painting replica infront of Museo del Prado
Entrance of Del Prado Museum
Entrance of Del Prado Museum

We left our bags and cameras at the counter before starting the tour inside the museum proper. Taking pictures inside of the museum is prohibited. We were only allowed to take photos of the museum façade, entrance, lobby, and the souvenir shop outside. Nevertheless, the collections displayed inside the museum left me breathless, and I did not need a camera to remember the beauty of the paintings in the galleries.

Paintings for sale in the streets near Museo del Prado in Madrid
Paintings for sale in the streets near Museo del Prado in Madrid

One of the first places that we went to was the main exhibition hall on the first floor. The hall seemed to stretch infinitely, with high arcs and domes for ceilings. The painting on display that caught my attention the most was “The Adoration of the Magi” by Pieter Paul Rubens. It was one of the largest paintings in the hall, and standing so close to it to see all the details was an honor. The artwork was painted on 1628 to 1629. It depicted the Nativity.


Peter Paul Rubens, The Adoration of the Magi, 1609/1628-1629
Peter Paul Rubens, The Adoration of the Magi, 1609/1628-1629 By Peter Paul Rubens – Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16282790

Our tour guide told us that the museum housed more than 7,000 paintings, but only 1,500 are put on exhibit. Some of the artists whose works are on display include Raphael, El Greco, Pieter Paul Rubens, Diego Velazquez, and Francisco de Goya. The museum featured artworks that depicted Biblical events and characters, mythological Gods, portraits, and everyday life. The oldest painting in the collection dates back to the 12th century.

Albrecht Durer Adam and Eve, 1507
Albrecht Durer Adam and Eve, 1507 By Albrecht Dürer – Galería online del Museo del Prado de Madrid: Adán y Eva, Public Domain

Some of the most iconic artworks in the museum’s vast collection include “Adam and Eve” by Albrecht Durer, “David and Goliath” by Caravaggio, the idyllic “El Embarque de Santa Paula” by Claude Lorrain, “The Virgin and Child” by Francesco Traini, “Las Meninas” by Diego Velazquez, and the rather bloody and dark “Saturn Devouring his Son” by Francisco de Goya.

Diego Velazquez, Las Meninas, between 1656 and 1657.
Diego Velazquez, Las Meninas, between 1656 and 1657. By Diego Velázquez – The Prado, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22600614
El Greco, The Knight with His Hand on His Breast, c. 1580
El Greco, The Knight with His Hand on His Breast, c. 1580 By El Greco – The Prado in Google Earth: Home -, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15195953

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We took our time appreciating the displays in the galleries. It was truly an amazing experience; putting it into mere words will not do it justice. I felt as if I got lost in the walls and travelled back in time. The huge displays and the spotless, white halls made me lost my sense of space and time, for truly, I was able to appreciate the history and culture of Spain a tenfold more.

In the main exhibition hall, first floor
In the main exhibition hall, first floor By Schnäggli – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

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This Spain Street Photography and Food Tour was made possible by Spain Tourism Board, Turkish Airlines, Madrid Destino, Visit Barcelona, La Rioja Tourism, Donostia San Sebastian Tourism and Convention Bureau and Turismo Bilbao.

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