Museum Prado (Museo del Prado) : Art For The Soul

The Museum Prado is Spain’s main art museum, housing thousands of European paintings from the 12th early 19th century. Much of the collection belongs to the artist Goya – who’s art style is as varied as Spain itself. Entrance fee is 16 euros for adults, but is free for students between 16-25. Once inside, you can purchase an audio guide for 6 euros for the main exhibition and special exhibition or just 4 euros for the main exhibition.  One key aspect about the museum is that you are not allowed to take photographs inside. I didn’t realise and got yelled at in Spanish.

The museum has 4 floors, lots of restrooms, a cafe and souvenir shops. I only had the Museum Prado Statuechance to look at floors 0 and 1 (which are the main areas of the museum). Level 1 holds paintings from the mid 1500s to the late 1600s. It also features Goya’s famous image ‘Las Medians’, which was quite exciting to see in real life. While I did enjoy Level 1, Level 0 was by FAR my favourite. This level held Goya’s dark paintings, including the infamous image of Saturn devouring his children. The level also holds replicas of Ancient Roman statues – which the ancient history lover inside me squealed at!

I found the audio guides very useful in the museum. I’m not much of an art person, but I enjoyed hearing the history behind some of the paintings. Although some images, when they talked about the symbolism behind them, almost made me scream “BS!”. A few images in particular made me roll my eyes. My only other problem with the museum was the shop didn’t have much variety. I would have liked to be able to choose what images I wanted printed out, rather than having the choice of a select few. Especially since you couldn’t take any photos inside. For example you could buy anything with Goya’s drowning dog image – by why the heck wouldMuseum Prado I want a bookmark with a drowning dog on it!? The prices were also a bit ridiculous, I wanted to buy a folder for my mum – just a clear plastic one with an image on it – it was 5 euros!

Overall the museum is a great place to visit when it’s boiling hot outside. I liked it, but wouldn’t spend too much time. Especially since I’m more interested in Ancient History than the middle ages/ renaissance. Although my friend travelling with me is going back tomorrow for the entire day – so it really depends on your likes and dislikes!

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