Paseo del Prado: 7 must-see stops

By | 16 July, 2014 | 0 comments

Paseo del Prado is a large boulevard located in the cultural centre of Madrid, an area that constitutes one of the main tourist areas in the city. Just a 10-minute walk from each other you can find three of the world’s most famous museums.

The route goes from Plaza de Cibeles to Plaza del Emperador Carlos V, and it offers many stops to visit, both with the buildings that surround it as for the fountains, statues and gardens that you come across while you are walking.

1) Prado Museum

Museo del Prado

It contains one of the biggest European art collections in the world, with more than 8,000 paintings, 6,500 drawings and 2,800 decorative pieces signed by artists such as Velázquez, Rubens, Goya, Titian, El Bosco and Murillo.

2) Royal Botanical Garden

Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid

Founded in 1755 by King Fernando VI, it was a pioneering institution in Europe that attracted students from many countries. It currently has 90,000 varieties of plants and 1,500 trees, and walking in their shadows discovering the wealth of the flora preserved there is a pleasure not to be missed.

3) Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Museo Thyssen Bornemisza

The second museum on the Prado, the Thyssen holds old and modern works, from Caravaggio to Monet, from Durer to Paul Klee, from Delacroix to Picasso. Every year it receives 1.25 million visits, which makes it one of the most visited museums in the world.

4) San Jerónimo el Real

Claustro de los Jerónimos

This Catholic temple goes back to the early 16th century and as well as being a beautiful architectonic example in itself, it has the added attraction of hold sculptures from Benlliure, Juan Pascual de Mena, Carducci and José Méndez.

In fact, the name Paseo del Prado has its roots here, since it originally used to reference the “prado de los Jerónimos”, with prado meaning prairie in Spanish.

5) Fountains of Cibeles, Neptune and Apollo

Fuente de Cibeles

Riding a carriage drawn by lions, the goddess Cibeles contemplates with dignity how Calle Alcalá goes towards the Puerta del Sol. This fountain is a symbol of the city and it also receives international attention year after year since this is the place where Real Madrid’s fans come and celebrate sporting victories.

Another beautiful fountain of mythological inspiration, designed by the architect also responsible for Cibeles, Ventura Rodríguez, is the Fountain of Neptune, which you can find on Plaza Cánovas del Castillo. Lastly, also on this boulevard, there is also a fountain dedicated to the god Apollo, also by the same author.

6) Cibeles Palace

Palacio de Cibeles

This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful buildings in Madrid, a work by the architect Antonio Palacios, built between 1907 and 1919. This engineer is also responsible for buildings such as the Hospital de Jornaleros de Maudes (1908), the Banco Mercantil e Industrial (1933-1945), the Banco Español del Río de la Plata (1911-1918) or the Círculo de Bellas Artes.

It is also known as Palacio de Comunicaciones because it was built to hold the headquarters of the Spanish Post Office (Sociedad Estatal Correos y Telégrafos). In 2007, the Madrid City Council bought it to establish its headquarters there and the name is now obsolete.

7) Reina Sofía Museum

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, a cultural institution dedicated to 20th-century art. Among the artists that we can see in this important gallery are Picasso, Dalí and Miró, with some of their best works. Also in the Reina Sofía we can see works by cubist artists such as Gris, Braque, Delaunay; surrealists such as Picabia, Magritte or Tanguy and expressionists such as Bacon or Saura.

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Categories: Guías Madrid

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