|This chapel overlooks the walkway toward the main museum entrance.|
Parque del Buen Retiro
Stretching out behind the Prado is a public (formerly royal) park. It’s large and criss-crossed by carefully manicured paths and shady lanes. I would have loved to explore it more, but we had an agenda (and the sun was intense). On our way out we passed the Grove of Memories, which was planted in honor of the victims of the March 11, 2010 terrorist bombing in the Madrid train station (which is two blocks from our hotel).
The Thyssen-Bornemiszas are a fabulously wealthy aristocratic couple (well, he’s a baron; she’s a former Miss Spain). Together they compiled an unbelievable private art collection, which they then turned over to the public. It’s much smaller than either the Prado or the Reina Sofia, and it doesn’t have quite as many of the heavy hitters (Rick Steves describes it in his guidebook as having mostly “minor works of major artists and major works of minor artists”, which isn’t surprising given that the T-Bs didn’t start collecting until after most of the big stuff was already in other museums) but the range of periods covered and the thoughtful presentation of the artwork more than makes up for any potential lack. You start from the top of the building with late medieval religious art and work your way downstairs, passing through all of the periods of art history between then and now. It’s amazing to see the sequence and evolution of the art from one era to another — it’s like doing Art History 101 in two hours and four flights of stairs.
|Ministry of Agriculture|
|Street text in front of the house where Cervantes lived and died|
|Calle de Alcala|
|Calle de Alcala (other direction)|
|Coolest (and biggest) vertical garden ever|