Prado Museum
Madrid, Spain

Prado Museum - the famous classical museum in Madrid (Spain)

Location show on map

Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23, Madrid 28014, Spain

Date of build

1785 - 1819

  • Other building names: Museo del Prado
  • Building type: Museum
  • Architectural style: Classicism
  • Height: 10.9 metres
    how many meters have Prado MuseumScale
  • Area: 41 995 m² - display area
  • Architect: Juan de Villanueva
Prado Museum description and facts:

The National Prado Museum in Madrid has one of the largest collections of European art in the world.

The building that now houses the museum was built in 1785 by the architect Juan de Villanueva and is an architectural monument in its own right. Construction of the Prado was interrupted during the Napoleonic Wars and completed in 1819. The building was first opened to the public precisely in 1819, the collection then containing only 311 Spanish paintings.

The Prado Museum was designed with the dual purpose of showcasing the collection of artworks belonging to the Spanish Royal House and highlighting the Spanish art school in a separate direction.

The change of designation to the Royal Museum of Painting and Sculpture was made by Ferdinand VII encouraged by Queen Maria Isabel de Braganza. The museum was first known as the Royal Museum, then the National Museum of Painting and Sculpture, until it finally became the Museo Nacional del Prado.

Today, the museum's collection includes thousands of paintings, sculptures, prints of drawings, a huge number of objects of artistic craftsmanship and historical documents. The permanent exhibition in Madrid includes around 1,300 works of art, as only a small proportion is on display.

The entire collection of artefacts at the Prado comprises around 35,000 exhibits. Just over 3,000 objects are stored in other museums around the world, with the rest deposited in vaults.

To date, the Prado Museum has the most extensive collection of works by Hieronymus Bosch, El Greco, Velazquez and Goya. Here you can see paintings by masters such as Raphael, van Eyck, Rubens, Dürer, Titian and others. Among recent acquisitions, the Prado Museum has works by Peter Bruegel and Francisco Pacheco from the 16th to 17th centuries. The most famous work on display at the museum is Las Meninas by Velázquez.

One hundred years after its official opening, the museum ran out of space in its original structure. Another building was added to the complex. In the 1950s and 1960s, the museum's collections had to be replenished again, and two more buildings were then added, the Palacio de Villahermosa and the Cason del Buen Retiro, enlarging the complex even further as the years passed.

The Prado Museum complex also includes two nearby buildings that are remnants of the Palacio del Buen Retiro, namely the Casón del Buen Retiro and the Salón de Reinos (Salon of the Kingdoms).

A new wing designed by Rafael Moneo was added in 2007, enlarging the Museo del Prado by more than 235,000 square feet.

At the entrances to the museum are statues of Spain's most prominent painters, Diego Velazquez and Francisco Goya.

The museum carries out continuous conservation work, which has restored many masterpieces, particularly works dating from the Renaissance.

The Museum takes its name from the word 'prado', which means 'meadow', a name it acquired because of its location, which used to be market gardens.

The Museum is home to the Prado Study Centre, bringing together the best scholars in art history and museum professionals from around the world.

The Prado Museum is one of the three museums in Madrid and one of the most popular in Spain, with several million visitors every year, close to 850,000 in 2020, and more than 2,800,000 in 2018.

Official website:


  • Normal ticket: €15.
  • Reduced: €7.50.
  • Free: All visitors Monday to Saturday: 18:00 - 20:00 and on Sundays and public holidays: 17:00 - 19:00.

Open hours

  • Monday-Saturday: 10 am - 8 pm.
  • Sunday and public holidays: 10am - 7pm.
  • Closed: 1 January, 1 May and 25 December.
  • Reduced opening hours: 6 January, 24 and 31 December (10am to 2pm).

Comments to Prado Museum (1) Average rating: 5 Add comment    /    Rate building

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24 days ago
Polecam dla będących w Madrycie, ale z góry uprzedzam, aby zaplanować sobie tam min. 2 godziny na zwiedzanie :D
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Wojciech Andruszkiewicz
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