Thursday night got a bit crazy, so Friday was a late start. We woke up late to a rainy day and also realized we’d left one of our host’s umbrellas at the bar the previous night. Oops!
Anyways, sharing the one remaining umbrella we headed out to grab some breakfast before, obviously, going to a museum. It was our last day in Madrid, and we had plans that evening with Zoya and some friends, but we wanted to see the National Archaeological Museum of Spain. For the last 6 months or so Kevin has been on a deep dive into learning about Roman and Iberian history, so this seemed like the perfect place to spend our last day in Madrid, which also happened to be his birthday.
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the museum:
The museum 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 from 1866 to 1892. In 1968, renovation and extension works considerably increased its area. The museum closed for renovation in 2008 and reopened in April 2014. The remodelled museum concentrates on its core archaeological role, rather than decorative arts.
The collection includes, among others, Prehistoric, Egyptian, Celtic, Iberian, Greek and Roman antiquities and medieval(Visigothic, Islamic Spanish and Christian) objects.
This was one of the best no-art museums I’ve ever been to. The detail and expenses put into curating the collections are excellent. The impact of the most recent renovation is unmissable and it would be a great place for anyone with any level of pre-existing knowledge on Archaeology, including kids. The collections are extensive, and take you through the evolution of ancient western culture and civilizations.
The use of visual guides, including audio visual content, was quite impressive. Each new time period and/or topic was introduced with a video that illustrated what the community would’ve looked like at the time. It was a great way to understand the context of the artifacts presented, particularly with respect to the geographic movement and interactions of people. You can learn more about their collection here and here.
Check out the photos below, and add this one of your Madrid itinerary!