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Madrid Museums: Page 3

| The Avenue of Art | Prado Museum | El Casón del Buen Retiro |
| Thyssen Bornemisza Museum | Centro de Arte Reina Sofía National Museum |
| Museo Arqueológico Nacional | Museo de América | Museo del Ferrocarril |

Madrid Museums: Page 3

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Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Museum

The southern end of the Avenue of Art is occupied by the museum which proudly carries the name of the presente-day Queen of Spain: the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía National Museum. Its permanent collection was inaugurated by their Majesties on 10th September 1992, although it was founded as a center dedicated primarily to temporary exhibitions in 1986.

The Reina Sofía is, because of its unique characteristics and multiple activities, more than a museum. It attracts not only enthusiasts of contemporary painting and sculpture, of all ages, but, in addition, is the most popular museum of Madrid among young people. It caters to their interests with educational programs which aim to encourage creativity and interest in art among children.

In the exhibition halls, visitors can see the masterpieces of the great geniuses of the Spanish avant-garde, with Picasso, Miró and Dalí at their head. And they will be pleasantly surprised by the large number of temporary exhibitions dedicated to important artists already famous with the critics, as well as young creators who have won approval or caused controversies because of the radical nature of the work. The latest production of international videoart and film, vanguard musical compositions, the latest issues of art books and magazines from all over the world and even a walk through the inner garden are all attractions for the visitor with an interest in art. This museum, dedicated to 20th century art, is located at a point of special importance in the everyday life of Madrid, the Glorieta de Carlos V, commonly known as "Atocha". It is housed in one of the most emblematic buildings of Madrid; the former General Hospital. It was a building left unfinished by Francisco Sabatini, the preferred architect at the end of the 18th century of the King Carlos III, considered by the inhabitants of Madrid as their "best mayor".

The restoration begun under the direction of Antonio Fernández Alba has respected the plans of the period and the building's general architectural design. Alba, nonetheless, thoroughly renovated the structure to equip it with all the features necessary today for a firstclass museum.

When the visitor enters the plaza where the main door of the museum is located, the first thing he notices are the two tall, transparent towers which house the building's elevators. The Structures were designed by José Luis Iñiguez de Onzoño and Antonio Vázquez de Castro, in collaboration with British architect, Ian Ritchie. The experience of rapidly rising above the colorful mosaic of the old, Madrid rooftops in one of these elevators prepares the visitor for his entry into the enormous expanse of the center's exhibition halls. Not surprisingly, the Reina Sofía is one of the world's biggest museums with 36,701 square meters of useable surface are, 12,505 of which are dedicated to exhibition halls.

The anchor and heart of the museum activities is, logically, its Permanent collection. On the second floor the center exhibits a careful selection of the works of its collection which total more than 10,000.

The famous painting by Picasso, Guernica, occupies the place of honor of the collection because of its historic and artistic importance, not only a symbol of public liberties for several generations of Spaniards, but also, since its return to the country, of a new period of co-existence. The museum authorities carried out an important architectural project for its installation in the building's Hall number 7. The preparatory sketches done by the artist from Málaga accompany the Guernica, as do works (done during those same dramatic moments) by Alberto Sánchez, Salvador Dalí and Le Corbusier.

The content and structure of the Permanent collection highlights the close relations between Spanish 20th century art international avangarde. These are shown in the first contacts of Spanish artists with Europe in the paintings of artists such as Hermenegildo Anglada Camarasa, Isidre Nonell, Ignaclo Zuloaga, José Gutiérrez Solana or Francisco Rubio. These are followed by the cubist and surrealist movements with Picasso, Miró, Dalí, Juan Gris, Julio González, María Blanchard, Öscar Domínguez .... The European influence is also visible in the work of the so-called Paris School: Vázquez Díaz, Pacho Cossío, Alfonso Pérez de León, among others. The center also dedicates space to the alternatives which coexisted alongside the avant-garde movements, exhibiting works of Mediterranean Classicism by Joaquín Sunyer and Manolo Hugué as well as works of New Objectivity, by José Velasco and José Togores. It also contains Spanish figurative paintings prior to the Civil War, and works of Antonio López Torres and Daniel González in representation of realist movements. Lastly, the collection documents the resurgence of avant-garde ideas in the 40s and the importance of abstract trends during the 50s and 60s. It includes the informalist works of the Group El Paso, Antoni Tapies and Eduardo Chillida, as well as geometric works of Equipo 57, led by Pablo Palazuelo. But the museum does not only offer the visitor the opportunity to review art history. a series of "Proposals" have been born from the requirements of modern art and the desire to provide the opportunity to participate, freeing the viewer from pure chronological studies. Through important figures of Spanish art the last couple of decades (Luis Gordillo, Eduardo Arroyo, Equipo Crónica, Miguel Navarro, Susana Solano) contrasted with others of the international art scene (Lucio Fontana, Barnett Newman, Ellsworth Kelly, Bruce Nauman, Dan Flavin) the Museum aims to force the viewer to reflect on the diversity of today's art world, as well as to continue to develop its collection.

In short, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía National Museum offers the rare opportunity to view, in detail, an interpretation of art history and a collection in evolution. A museum of the 20th century for the 21st century.

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Centro de Arte Reina Sofía National Museum: Useful Info


Santa Isabel, 52, 28012 Madrid
Telephone: (+34) 91 467 50 62 & (+34) 91 468 30 02
Fax: (+34) 91 467 31 63


MAIN BUILDING: Santa Isabel, 52

OPEN: Monday through Saturday 10am to 9pm, Sundays & Holidays 10am to 4pm
CLOSED: Tuesdays

Palacios de Velázquez and Cristal, Retiro Park

OPEN: October to April inclusive: Mondays to Saturdays: 10.00 - 18.00
Sundays and Holidays: 10.00 - 16.00,
May to September inclusive: Mondays to Saturdays: 11.00 - 20.00,
Sundays and Holidays: 11.00 - 18.00
CLOSED: Tuesdays

Tickets & Entry

Entrance Fees:

General Admission: 3.014 ?
Half-Price: "Carné Joven"; Student Card or international equivalents; groups from cultural or educational institutions.
Free: Under 18; over 65, retired and unemployed persons; members of "Friends of the Museum" Association; Museum Trustees; journalists exercising their profession; National Tourism guides; personnel from museum institutions; cultural and educational volunteers.
Free for the general public:

Main building, Sta. Isabel, 52

Saturdays: 14.30 - 21.00
Sundays: 10.00 - 14.30
And on: 18 May, 12 October, and 6 December

  • Note: Admission is also free to "Espacio UNO", the Library, Cloister, Garden, Café and Restaurant in the main building, and to the Palacio de Velázquez and the Palacio de Cristal (Retiro Park).

  • Special Tickets:

  • Paseo del Arte: 7.66 Euros - Valid for one year, this combined ticket allows one visit to the Museo del Prado, the Museo Thyssen and the MNCARS.

  • Tarjeta Anual MNCARS: 24.04 Euros - Valid for one year, this pass allows unlimited visits to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

  • Tarjeta Anual Múltiple: - 36.06 Euros, Valid for one year, this pass allows unlimited visits to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, the Museo Nacional del Prado and other state museums belonging to the Dirección General de Bellas Artes y Bienes Culturales.


    Metro: Line 1, Station Atocha
    Buses: Lines 6, 10, 14, 18,19, 26, 27, 32, 34, 36, 37, 41, 45, 46, 55, 57, 59, 68, 86, 119 and Circular
    By rail: Atocha Station

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    Other Important Museums in Madrid:

    Museo Arqueológico Nacional (a MadridMan favorite!)
    Calle de Serrano, 13 28001-MADRID
    Phone: 34 91 577 79 12 Fax: 91 431 68 40
    Open Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 9:30am to 3pm
    OPEN: Tuesday to Saturday 9:30am to 8:30pm and Sundays 9:30am to 2:30pm
    OPEN HOLIDAYS: 24 & 25 March, 12 October, 1 & 9 November, 6 & 8 December 9:30 to 2:30pm
    CLOSED: Mondays, 1 & 6 of January, 9 September & 24, 25, & 31 of December
    Tickets: 3.01 Euros

    Museo de América
    Avda Reyes Católicos, 6 28040-MADRID (Junto al faro de la Moncloa)
    Phone: 34 91 5492641 & 34 91 5439437 Fax: 91 5446742
    Open Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 9:30am to 3pm

    Museo del Ferrocarril
    Paseo de las Delicias, 61 28045 MADRID
    Phone: 902 22 88 22
    OPEN: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 3pm
    CLOSED: Mondays & the entire month of August

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