Madrid is a city that boasts some of the world's finest art museums, such as the Prado, the Reina Sofia, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza. But there is a new addition to this illustrious list that deserves your attention: The Royall Collection Gallery, which opened its doors to the public on June 29, 2023.
The Royal Collections Gallery is a stunning new museum that showcases hundreds of masterpieces from the Royal Collection, which spans five centuries of Spanish history and culture. The collection, which belongs to the state but is managed by the National Heritage Organization, includes works by renowned artists such as Caravaggio. Velazques, Goya, Rubens, Titian, and El Greco, as well as tapestries, sculptures, armour, jewels, and other treasures.
The museum is housed in a sleek and modern building designed by Spanish architects Emillio Tunon and Luis Moreno Mansilla, who won an international competition for the project in 2022. The building, which cost 170 million euros ($185 million), is located next to the Royal Palace and close to Almudena Cathedral, on a hillside that offers panoramic views of Madrid.
The building has eight floors, four of which are underground. The underground floors feature a section of Madrid's ninth-century wall built by the city's then-Muslim rulers, as well as temporary exhibition spaces and educational facilities. The above-ground floors display the permanent collection in chronological order, from the 16th century to the 20th century.
One of the highlights of the museum is the model that Benini used for his "Fontana dei quattro fiumi" (Fountain of the Four Rivers) in Rome's Piazza Navona, which was commissioned by Pope Innocent X in 1651. The model which is made of wood, clay, and metal, was acquired by King Philip IV of Spain in 1654 and has never left the country since then.
Another highlight is the "Salon de Reinos" (Hall of Kingdoms), a large room that was originally part of the Buen Retiro Palace, a former royal residence that was mostly destroyed during the Napoleonic invasion in 1808. The hall features paintings by Velazquez and other court artists that depict scenes from the wars and battles fought by Spain in the 17th century.
The Royal Collections Gallery is not only a museum but also a cultural and tourist attraction that aims to enrich Madrid's artistic heritage and attract more visitors to the city. The museum offers guided tours, audio guides, workshops, and educational programs for all ages and interests. It also has a cafeteria, a bookstore, and a gift shop.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with free admission on Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The entrance fee is 15 euros ($16) for adults, 7 euros ($8) for students and seniors, and free for children under 18. For more information, visit www.patrimonionacional.es.
If you are an art lover or a history buff, you should not miss the opportunity to visit Madrid's new Royal Collection Gallery and marvel at its magnificent collection. It is a museum that celebrates Spain's rich and diverse cultural legacy and showcases its royal treasures under one roof.