MADRID – The brand new museum in Madrid opened its doors this summer, after decades of delay. It offers an exclusive glimpse into the lavish life of the Spanish monarchy through the ages.
If you are an art lover, this is a mandatory stop in the capital. Located in the heart of the city, the Galería de las Colecciones Reales is a top destination next to the Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía. This gallery offers visitors a collection of 650 works. These include masterpieces by Velázquez, Goya, Caravaggio, Titian and El Greco, as well as tapestries, furniture and even part of Madrid’s original medieval wall from the time of Al-Andalus.
The aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of Spanish history and the changing tastes of its rulers. The museum is distinguished by a dynamic presentation of works of art, which will change over time. A beautiful collection of royal carriages can be seen until June 2024.
Decades of delay
Although the idea of creating this gallery originally arose during the Second Republic in the early 1930s, plans were interrupted. First through the Spanish Civil War and the subsequent Franco dictatorship. After the government gave the green light in 1998, the project was postponed again for another century. This time, because a large part of the 9th century Arab wall was discovered in Madrid. Then the financial crisis and the Covid pandemic threw a spanner in the works.
A unique museum in Spain
The modern building of the Galería de las Colecciones Reales, located opposite the Royal Palace, offers breathtaking views over the river to the Casa de Campo park over three floors.
Museum director Leticia Ruiz explains why this award-winning building is so special: “As soon as visitors enter the spaces, they are confronted with perspectives and views that change with the light, giving the hall and other spaces a beautiful intimate light at sunset that casts geometric shadows .”
What is there to see?
The Galería de las Colecciones Reales derives its importance from the impressive collection from the National Heritage (Patrimonio Nacional), with treasures from the incredibly rich legacy of the Habsburg and Bourbon dynasties.
Ruiz speaks enthusiastically about the collection: “There are masterpieces from all major art forms spanning almost five centuries of history, including some pieces of furniture of exceptional beauty and technical quality, and embroideries by one of the best embroiderers of the first half of the 18th century. “
Schedule a visit to the Galerías de las Colecciones Realse
Located opposite the Royal Palace and behind the Almudena Cathedral, the museum can be accessed from the Plaza de la Armeria or from the Cuesta de la Vega. It is open Monday to Saturday from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm. Sundays and public holidays, the opening hours are from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm. A ticket costs €14 or €24 in combination with entrance to the Royal Palace. EU citizens, Latin American citizens or residents of Spain enter free, Monday to Thursday between 6.00 pm and 8.00 pm.