Madrid, the Galería de las Colecciones Reales, a major new museum, opens to the public

In Madrid, the Galería de las Colecciones Reales, a large new museum in the heart of Spain's capital city, has opened its doors, displaying the Royal Collections: there are pieces by artists such as Titian, Caravaggio, Velázquez, Goya and many others.

In Madrid , the Galería de las Colecciones Reales (Gallery of Royal Collections), the large museum with eight thousand square meters of exhibition space, was inaugurated in a brand-new building carved out of the rock, specially designed by architects Luis Moreno Mansilla and Emilio Tuñón in the heart of Spain’s capital, near the Royal Palace: it has been billed as the country’s most important museum project in several decades(on these pages we have detailed the building’s history while also talking about some of the pieces it houses, from Caravaggio to Velázquez, from Titian to Goya).

More than 650 works of art spread over two exhibition halls, the remains of Madrid’s 9th-century walls and a temporary display of vehicles and carriages are already available to visitors at the Royal Collections Gallery. The new museum is conceived as a double showcase, as explained by Ana de la Cueva, president of Patrimonio Nacional, the entity that manages Spain’s state museums: “On the one hand, it shows the historical and artistic wealth of our country through five centuries of royal collecting, and on the other hand, it becomes a wonderful sounding board for tourists to learn about the Royal Sites that the entity manages and the work that is done to preserve them.”

During the press conference preceding the opening of the Gallery, the director of the Royal Collections, Leticia Ruiz, highlighted the variety and quality of the pieces on display, which make this space “a museum of museums, which makes visible the most important cultural institution in Europe, which ensures the maintenance of our heritage, the heritage of all. Paintings, sculptures, armor, tapestries, carriages, furniture, and jewelry coexist in an avant-garde building, designed by Tuñón and Mansilla, that dialogues harmoniously with its contents.”

Architect Emilio Tuñón showed his happiness at the completion of the project with which he managed to unite contemporary architecture with the historic fabric of the Royal Palace and the Plaza de la Armería. “The important thing is what happens from now on, when the public walks through these spaces designed almost to disappear, where the architecture leaves all the prominence to the pieces on display,” he stressed. Tuñón wanted to remember in his speech his partner Luis Moreno Mansilla, with whom he signed this project, who passed away in 2012.

The Gallery displays more than 650 pieces that represent the variety and richness of the Royal Collections: from paintings or sculptures to furniture and decorative objects, including tapestries, books, and photographs. They are signed by the best craftsmen and artists: Velázquez, Goya, Caravaggio, Titian, all displayed in a building that has already received international awards before opening its doors and that, thanks to its privileged location in the heart of Madrid , offers a new perspective of the city.

The visit to the Gallery complements that of the Royal Palace and enriches and strengthens the axis that begins in San Antonio de la Florida and ends in San Francisco el Grande, and that also includes, for example, the Temple of Debod, the Monastery of l’Incarnation or the Teatro Real. The new National Heritage space will enable the institution to offer more cultural offerings, with its 300-seat auditorium, its temporary exhibition hall of nearly 800 square meters, and its multipurpose room for courses and workshops. It also has one of the most modern and extensive cultural heritage repositories in all of Europe.

Citizens were given the opportunity to visit the new museum free of charge on June 29 and July 5, 6 and 7 (and the free opening days were a success, with long lines from the early hours of the morning: the 10,000 free tickets made available were almost sold out). Starting today, July 8, the Royal Collections Gallery will open Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Sundays until 7 p.m.) and admission will cost 14 euros (7 with concessions and free Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m.). Tickets can be reserved and/or purchased through the website.

Madrid, the Galería de las Colecciones Reales, a major new museum, opens to the public
Madrid, the Galería de las Colecciones Reales, a major new museum, opens to the public

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