El Prado Museum in Madrid

By | 11 May, 2011 | 0 comments

The Prado Museum in Madrid is one of the biggest and most important art galleries in the world. It is situated in el Paseo del Prado a big avenue that connects the station of Atocha with Cibeles square, and it’s been called the Paseo del Arte, the Avenue of Art, because a sort distance on foot tourists can access three important museums, Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen.

The walk itself between Atocha station and the Prado Museum is something else. In a sunny day there are many the people who choose to take a stroll around the Retiro Park, that can be accessed from el Paseo del Prado. Walking up la Cuesta de Moyano toward the entrance of the park, you will find kiosks full of second-hand books, comics and children’s books. Many university students come here to find their recommended readings and even sell them back once they have finished. However, if you are looking it up on a map, you won’t find it, as its real name is Calle de Claudio de Moyano. Cuesta in Spanish means “slope”, and this should be a hint for those who don’t like exertion, the walk up the park is nice, but will make you work those hamstrings.

The Prado Museum

Even before you go inside, the building will take your breath away. Its construction was started under Charles III, who was known to the Spaniards as the best Mayor of Madrid, because of all the major improvements he brought to the city. The impressive white columns at its front welcome us into a world of art and beauty.

The museum has a huge permanent collection that covers many centuries and countries, however, there are always temporary exhibitions that attract many tourists. Two of the main works exhibited by Spanish court painters are Las Meninas, by Velazquez, and the Third of May by Francisco de Goya. Both of them are very important for the Spanish national identity for different reasons. The first one represents a court painter and the princess and courtesans he’s painting. Velazquez is one of the main figures in Spanish art. The Third of May represents the French occupiers shooting some members of the Spanish resistance and it is come to symbolize the Spanish national feeling of resistance against invasors.

The museum offers, however, a great variety of styles for all tastes. Even those who do not understand or care much for “old paintings” will find the walk through its many rooms irresistible, and they are sure to find a few images that will stay with them as an indelible memory of their holidays.

Categories: General

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