The Prado Museum

In which capital city can you find the Prado Museum, famous for featuring works by Spanish artists?

And the answer: Madrid.

Located in Spain's capital city of Madrid, the Prado Museum (in Spanish: Museo del Prado) is one of the most visited museums in the world. It's known for its extensive collection of Spanish art, with works by Francisco Goya and Diego Velázquez.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Spain's National Art Museum, unaware of the prestige it would soon accumulate, opened its doors to the public in 1819. After being designed by Juan de Villanueva in 1785 for other purposes, Queen Maria Isabel de Braganza encouraged her husband Ferdinand VII to repurpose the building to become the Royal Museum of Paintings and Sculptures. Ultimately, after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, it became just that: with 1,510 paintings on its walls, the museum was first known as the Royal Museum, then the National Museum of Painting and Sculpture, and finally the Museo Nacional del Prado.

Just 100 years after opening its doors, the Prado had accumulated so much art that it was forced to open a new wing. In fact, the collection of the Prado is so large that only 1/7th of its art is on display at any given time. The Prado's walls are lined with masterpieces from the Spanish, Italian, and Flemish schools, including Velázquez’ Las Meninas and Goya’s Third of May, 1808. Plenty of Picasso's paintings find a home at the Prado as well. Its collection comprises 8,600 paintings and over 1,000 sculptures. In 2020, the Prado was the 16th most-visited museum in the world.

See the Prado for yourself below.


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