Museums in Spain

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry. The museum was inaugurated in 1997 by King Juan Carlos I of Spain, with an exhibition of 250 contemporary works of art. Built alongside the Nervion River, which runs through the city of Bilbao to the Cantabrian Sea, it is one of several museums belonging to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and f ...
Founded: 1997 | Location: Bilbao, Spain

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is an art museum in Madrid, located near the Prado Museum on one of city"s main boulevards. It is known as part of the 'Golden Triangle of Art', which also includes the Prado and the Reina Sofia national galleries. The Thyssen-Bornemisza fills the historical gaps in its counterparts" collections: in the Prado"s case this includes Italian primitives and works f ...
Founded: 1992 | Location: Madrid, Spain

Antiquarium

Situated in the basement of Metropol Parasol, Antiquarium is a modern, well-presented archaeological museum with sections of ruins visible through glass partitions, and underfoot along walkways. These Roman and Moorish remains, dating from the first century BC to the 12th century AD, were discovered when the area was being excavated to build a car park in 2003. It was decided to incorporate them into the new Metropol Par ...
Founded: 1st century BCE | Location: Seville, Spain

Museo Reina Sofía

The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS, also called the Museo Reina Sofía) is Spain"s national museum of 20th-century art. The museum was officially inaugurated in 1992, and is named for Queen Sofía. The museum is mainly dedicated to Spanish art. Highlights of the museum include excellent collections of Spain"s two greatest 20th-century masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Cer ...
Founded: 1992 | Location: Madrid, Spain

Archaeological Museum of Granada

The Archaeological Museum of Granada was established in 1879. It is located in the Castril palace, dating from the 16th century. It hosts many artefacts from the many different civilizations that settled in Granada including the Carthaginians, the Phoenicians, the Romans and the Arabs. It includes a beautiful Renaissance patio. The building"s façade was created in 1593.
Founded: 1879 | Location: Granada, Spain

Museo del Prado

Museo del Prado is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It is widely considered to have one of the world"s finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 20th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and the single best collection of Spanish art. Founded as a museum of paintings and sculpture in 1819, it also contains important collection ...
Founded: 1819 | Location: Madrid, Spain

Santa Cruz Museum

The Museum of Santa Cruz was an important hospital which was converted into a museum in the 19th century. The hospital was founded by Cardinal Mendoza at the end of the 15th century to centralize assistance to orphaned and abandoned children in the city. It has a remarkable Plateresque portal, work of Alonso de Covarrubias. The building has a Greek cross plant and four courtyards, two of which were completely completed ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Toledo, Spain

Museo de Málaga

The Museo de Málaga, which was actually constituted in 1973, opened in 2016 in the impressive Palacio de la Aduana. It has brought together the former Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes (Provincial Museum of Fine Arts) and Museo Arqueológico Provincial.Málaga now joins Almería, Cádiz, Huelva and Jaén in having a 'provincial museum' in their respective capital cities; while Seville, Córdoba and Granada have separate f ...
Founded: 1973 | Location: Málaga, Spain

Museo Picasso Málaga

The Museo Picasso Málaga is a museum in the city where artist Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born. It opened in 2003 in the Buenavista Palace, and has 285 works donated by members of Picasso"s family. Christine Ruiz-Picasso, widow of the artist"s eldest son Paulo Ruiz-Picasso, donated to the museum 14 paintings, 9 sculptures, 44 individual drawings, a sketchbook with a further 36 drawings, 58 engravings, and 7 ceramic ...
Founded: 2003 | Location: Málaga, Spain

National Archaeological Museum of Spain

The National Archaeological Museum of Spain was founded in 1867 by a Royal Decree of Isabella II as a depository for numismatic, archaeological, ethnographical and decorative art collections of the Spanish monarchs. The museum was originally located in the Embajadores district of Madrid. In 1895, it moved to a building designed specifically to house it, a neoclassical design by architect Francisco Jareño, built ...
Founded: 1867 | Location: Madrid, Spain

Museo Nacional de Escultura

The Museo Nacional de Escultura has an extensive collection sculptural ranging from the Middle Ages to the 19th century from Region of Castile"s churchs. The museum was founded as the Provincial Museum of Fine Arts in 1842. It had its first headquarters at the Palacio de Santa Cruz. The museum houses works from the 13th to 19th centuries, executed mostly in the Central Spain, and also in other regions histor ...
Founded: 1842 | Location: Valladolid, Spain

Pontevedra Museum

The museum"s collections are distributed over five different venues: Santo Domingo Convent, Sarmiento Palace, the Castro Monteagudo building, and the García Flórez and Fernández López buildings. At the 18th-century Castro Monteagudo building you can see collections of archaeology, traditional and civil pre-Roman and Roman precious metalwork (Fernández de la Mora collection), as well as Spanish, Italian and Flem ...
Founded: 1929 | Location: Pontevedra, Spain

Museum Cerralbo

The Museum Cerralbo houses the art and historical objects collections of Enrique de Aguilera y Gamboa, Marquis of Cerralbo, who died in 1922. The museum, which is housed in the former residence of its founder, opened in 1944. The building was built in the 19th century, according to Italian taste, and it was luxuriously decorated with baroque furniture, wall paintings and expensive chandeliers. It retains to a large e ...
Founded: 1944 | Location: Madrid, Spain

Museo de Historia de Madrid

The Museum of History of Madrid building was formerly the Royal Hospice of San Fernando, built in 1673. The museum opened in 1929 as the Museo Minicipal (municipal museum). It was closed in 1955 the museum for building reforms, and was not reopened to the public until 1978. The museum"s permanent collection demonstrates the history of Madrid from 1561 when Madrid became the capital of Spain to the beginning of th ...
Founded: 1929 | Location: Madrid, Spain

Ourense Provincial Archaeological Museum

The Ourense Provincial Archaeological Museum occupies the building that was the Bishop’s Palace. It is one of the best preserved civil monumental ensembles in Romanesque style, and was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1931. Its structure is a faithful testimony of the development of the city, with Roman, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and modern elements. Its construction began in the 12th century and played a ...
Founded: 1895 | Location: Ourense, Spain

Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum is the second largest and most visited museum in the Basque Country, after the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum and one of the richest Spanish museums outside Madrid. It houses a valuable and quite comprehensive collection of Basque, Spanish and European art from the Middle Ages to contemporary, including paintings by old masters like El Greco, Cranach, Murillo, Goya, Van Dyck, Ruisdael and Bellotto, t ...
Founded: 1908 | Location: Bilbao, Spain

El Greco Museum

The El Greco Museum celebrates the mannerist painter El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos, 1541–1614), who spent much of his life in Toledo, having been born in Fodele, Crete. The museum opened in 1911 and is located in the Jewish Quarter of Toledo. It consists of two buildings, a 16th-century house with a courtyard and an early 20th century building forming the museum, together with a garden. The house recreate ...
Founded: 1911 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Domus do Mitreo

The University Museum A Domus do Mitreo is a museum center built on the old site of the Pazo de Montenegro and annexed buildings, next to the Roman walls of Lugo. The Museum is called Domus do Mitreo because when archaeological surveys were carried out, prior to the construction of the new building, the remains of a domus appeared. This domus, during the Lower Roman Empire, was partially reformed to build a private buil ...
Founded: 2018 | Location: Lugo, Spain

Museo de Bellas Artes

The Museum of Fine Arts of Seville has a collection of mainly Spanish visual arts from the medieval period to the early 20th century, including a choice selection of works by artists from the so-called Golden Age of Sevillian painting during the 17th century, such as Murillo, Zurbarán, Francisco de Herrera the younger, and Valdés Leal. The building itself was built in 1594, but the museum was founded in 1839, after the ...
Founded: 1839 | Location: Seville, Spain

Archeological Museum of Seville

The Archeological Museum of Seville is housed in the Pabellón del Renacimiento, one of the pavilions designed by the architect Aníbal González. These pavilions at the Plaza de España were created for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. The museum"s basement houses the El Carambolo treasure, discovered in Camas in 1958. The treasure comprises 2950 grams of 24 carat gold and consists of golden bracelets, a go ...
Founded: 1929 | Location: Seville, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Veste Coburg

The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.

A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.

In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.

Early modern times through Thirty Years' War

In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.

In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.

17th through 19th centuries

From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.

In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.

20th century

The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.

In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.

Today

The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.