The National Archaeological Museum of Spain. The Archaeological Museum in Madrid is one of the most recognized museums of Spain.
The National Archaeological Museum of Spain (MAN) maintains a series of collections that give a clear representation of historic and prehistoric Spain. These Spanish archeological jewels have their origins in the collections of Spanish monarchs whose collections continually grew with new discoveries.
The National Archaeological Museum of Spain was founded by a Royal Decree In 1867, during the reign of Queen Isabella II. The museum's foundation was inspired by new European tendencies towards nationalism and an emerging new interest in discovering historical roots. The National Archaeological Museum of Spain became a role model for provincial archaeological museums that were appearing in different parts of Spain.
Prior to Isabella II, many other Spanish monarchs had already shown interest in archaeology. A good example of this was Queen Isabella II's great grandfather, Charles III, king of Naples and Sicily. During his reign, the ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii were discovered which helped inspire the monarch's interest in archaeology.
The National Archaeological Museum in Spain possesses some of the most important treasures of Hispanic history such as the Lady of Elche, one of the most important Pre-Roman Iberia sculptures, or the Aliseda Treasure, a collection of ancient grave goods from the 7th century BC belonging to a woman related in some way to the king.
The permanent exhibition of the museum aims to show the special importance that the Mediterranean region has had on the evolution of universal culture. In the museum, one can enjoy a great array of works from ancient Egypt, Greece and Italy including a collection of Greek coins (Sylloge Nommorum Graecorum) of great importance. The museum also features Ibero-American and Al-Andalus coin collections.
These treasure collections of the National Archaeological Museum in Spain are structured into 6 different sections:
- Egypt and the Middle East
- Early History and colonization
- Classical Archaeology (Greece and Rome)
- Medieval Archaeology
- Modern Archaeology
As we can see, this structure offers a complete historic overview of social and cultural events in Spain from its origin through to the eighteenth century.
Today, the National Archaeological Museum has become an international reference in the world of archeology while maintaining its reputation as a dynamic cultural center.
The Spanish National Archaeological Museum is housed in the old Library and Museum Palace, an emblematic building in Madrid, on 13 Serrano Street between the Plaza de la Independencia and beside the Plaza de Colón.
The National Archeological Museum in Madrid is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9:30 to 20:00 and Sundays from 9:30 to 15:00. On Mondays the museum is closed. Entry is free of charge.