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 on our itinerary for that morning.
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.
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 the public in 1819. By then, it had already taken the name of Museo Nacional Del Prado.
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.
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 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.
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 from 1628 to 1629. It depicted the Nativity.
Our tour guide told us that the museum housed more than 7,000 paintings, but only 1,500 are exhibited. 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.
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.
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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 traveled 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 tenfold more.
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This Spain Street Photography and Food Tour were 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.