New Madrid Museum To Display Spains Royal Artefacts

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A new museum packed with hundreds of treasures collected by Spain’s monarchs over the past five centuries is set to open in Madrid this month. Located just across from the Royal Palace, the Royal Collections Gallery, which opens on June 29, will showcase paintings, tapestries, furniture, and elaborately decorated carriages. Most of the 650 works that will go on display have not previously been accessible to the public or were sitting in quiet corners of historic sites across Spain.

The modern building that houses the art collection is a work of art. Built down the side of a steep hill, the seven-story museum descends and gives visitors sweeping views of the Madrid parkland as they move through the museum. Each floor features enormous windows that flood the space with natural light. Visitors will see the museum’s ancient collections in an ultramodern setting that has won ten architecture awards.

Unlike many other monarchies, Spain’s Royal Collections don’t belong to the crown but to the public thanks to a historic twist nearly a century ago. The Royal Collections Gallery, which King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia will inaugurate on June 28, is one of a series of museums overseen by Patrimonio Nacional. This government manages palaces, monasteries, convents, and royal gardens throughout Spain.

In addition to the vast Thyssen-Bornemisza museum, this new space will also host a wide range of paintings, sculptures, and furniture from the Spanish royal collection, including Diego Velazquez’s White Horse, Caravaggio’s Salome and Francisco de Goya’s paintings. Visitors will also see gold and silver armor worn by the Spanish royals and musical instruments from the aristocratic era.

Visitors can explore the new museum’s collections in an order meant to evoke the evolution of Spain’s art styles, from the first historical Italian and Dutch paintings through the Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassicism periods. A timeline of key events will help explain the importance of each period.

It is advised to plan if planning to visit the Royal Collections Gallery and other museums in Madrid during peak season, which occurs from late May through August. Visiting the museums early in the morning or later in the afternoon usually results in fewer crowds. In addition, some museums offer free admission on certain days or have shorter opening hours to control visitor numbers.

While Madrid has several world-renowned art museums, visiting smaller galleries that focus on specific artists and themes is possible. For example, the CaixaForum Madrid, housed in a renovated electrical power station, exhibits thought-provoking art reflecting global social and cultural issues. It is open to the public and offers a more intimate experience than some of the more prominent art museums in the city. Moreover, CaixaForum is free on Saturdays and Sundays.

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