The Prado Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Madrid, and is considered one of the top museums in the world. With over 1,300 works of art on display and a collection of 8,600 paintings and over 700 sculptures, the Prado has one of the largest and most impressive collections in the world. In addition to having the world’s finest collection of Spanish art from artists including Velazquez, Goya and Zurbarán, they also have an impressive collection of European art from the 12th to 19th centuries which were from the Spanish Royal Collection.
The Prado Museum takes its name from the meadow (prado in Spanish) where the 18th C. Neo-Classical building was constructed to house the Spanish Monarch’s royal art collection. It opened to the public in 1819 with a collection solely devoted to Spanish paintings. Over the years the collection has expanded to include a wide variety of European art, including large collections of Italian and Flemish masters.
Velazquez’s “Las Meninas” painting is perhaps the Prado’s most famous painting. Other outstanding paintings in the history of art by Goya, El Greco, Rembrandt and Bosch can also be seen. With such a vast collection of works on display, it is impossible to see it all in just one visit.
For a 1-hour visit, the Prado recommends the following masterpieces:
- ‘Las Meninas’ by Velázquez
- ‘The Crucifixion’ by Juan de Flandes
- ‘The Nobleman with his Hand on his Chest’ by El Greco
- ‘Jacob’s Dream’ by José de Ribera
- ‘The 3rd of May 1808 in Madrid: the executions on Principe Pio Hill’ by Goya
- ‘The Annunciation’ by Fra Angelico
- ‘The Cardinal’ by Raphael
- ‘The Emperor Charles V, on Horseback, in Mühlberg’ by Titian
- ‘The Immaculate Conception’ by Tiepolo Giambattista
- ‘Descent from the Cross’ by Roger van der Weyden
- ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ by Hieronymus Bosch
- ‘The Three Graces’ by Peter Paul Rubens
- ‘Self Portrait’ by Albrecht Dürer
- ‘Artemis’ by Rembrandt
- ‘Offering by Orestes and Pylades (San Ildefonso Group)’. Anonymous
The Prado Museum is open daily, and only closes for holidays on January 1, May 1, and December 25. For more information, including opening hours, ticket prices and advance ticket sales, click here.
Book a private tour! You may want to consider booking a private tour with an English-speaking guide. Your personal guide can provide you with information on the city and its historic sites. For more information on our Prado Museum tour, click here, and for information on all of our Madrid tours, click here.
Photo credit: © Christopher Pappas • All rights reserved.
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