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History and Architecture

The building that today houses the Museo Nacional del Prado was designed by architect Juan de Villanueva in 1785. It was constructed to house the Natural History Cabinet, by orders of King Charles III. However, the building's final purpose - as the new Royal Museum of Paintings and Sculptures - was the decision of the monarch's grandson, King Ferdinand VII, encouraged by his wife Queen Maria Isabel de Braganza. The Royal Museum, soon quickly renamed the National Museum of Paintings and Sculptures and subsequently the Museo Nacional del Prado, opened to the public for the first time in November 1819.

History of the Museum

History of the Museum

The building that today houses the Museo Nacional del Prado was designed by architect Juan de Villanueva in 1785. It was constructed to house the Natural History Cabinet, by orders of King Charles III. However, the building's final purpose - as the new Royal Museum of Paintings and Sculptures - was the decision of the monarch's grandson, King Ferdinand VII, encouraged by his wife Queen Maria Isabel de Braganza.

The extension

The extension

With the termination of Rafael Moneo’s project around the area of the Church of the Jerónimos, the Museo del Prado has completed the most important extension to its building in its almost 200 years of history.

The Casón del Buen Retiro

The Casón del Buen Retiro

The Casón formed part of the ensemble of buildings that comprised the Buen Retiro Palace, of which only the Casón and the Salón de Reinos now survive. The Casón was designed by Alonso Carbonel, Chief Master of Works of the Buen Retiro Palace, who completed the plans by 1637 although the building was not finished until some years later.

The Hall of Realms

The Hall of Realms

The proposal presented by the team of Foster + Partners L.T.D. and Rubio Arquitectura S.L.P. is the winner of the international competition for the architectural restoration and museological remodelling of the Salón de Reinos [Hall of Realms] of the former Buen Retiro palace.

North Wing Galleries

North Wing Galleries

As a result of the need for space to house different internal museum services, in 2004 the galleries on the second floor were taken out of the Permanent Collection route and used as temporary storage space for works of art, offices and the restoration of supports studio.

Jheronimus Bosch Gallery

Jheronimus Bosch Gallery

With the support of Samsung as a Technology Sponsor, the Museo Nacional del Prado has reopened its gallery devoted to Jheronimus Bosch with a new installation that marks a radical rethinking from a technical viewpoint.

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