Museums & Arts Centres

Always in Madrid

CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS

National Archaeological Museum 

The National Archaeological Museum (MAN), which houses one of the world's most important antique collections, has just reopened after a comprehensive remodelling process that lasted for six years. Through the implements and works of art of the various Mediterranean cultures, its exhibits span from prehistory to the 19th century.

Dama de ElcheLocated in the heart of the Salamanca District, it covers a series of chapters in the history of universal art that are not represented in the large museums of the nearby Art Walk, such as Greek ceramics, Visigoth votive crowns and Spanish Islamic ivories. The rich collection of this institution founded in 1867 is now on display thanks to a new museological plan which gives the exhibits as much as artistic value as it does archaeological, and includes informative panels, mockups and replicas that visitors can actually touch.

The Lady of Elche

In the new MAN, the Lady of Elche continues to occupy a privileged spot. When comparing it with other Iberian works, the proportion and balance of the face are surprising, indicating a strong influence of Greek art. However, the beads and tunic are clearly local and provide a perfect example of Iberian outfit. Contrary to prior opinion, some historians suggest that it was a full-body sculpture which was subsequently converted into a bust. Like many sculptures of the time, the Lady of Elche has a cavity in the back which, it is thought, was used to store relics. Some theories suggest that the Lady of Elche is a goddess and others consider it represents a queen or a dead woman.

Extraordinary works

Other valuable pieces on display are the Treasure of Guarrazar, an incredible example of Visigoth goldsmithing, the Pot from Zamora, made from ivory, and a collection of Greek vases, considered by specialists to be one of the best in the world.

Museo Arqueológico Nacional

Tesoro de Guarrazar

USEFUL INFORMATION

National Archaeological Museum
Address:
Serrano, 13
Metro: Serrano (L4)
Cercanías train station: Recoletos
Public car park: Plaza del Descubrimiento - Centro Colón 
Telephone: (+34) 91 577 79 12
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm. Sundays and public holidays, from 9:30 am to 3 pm. Monday, closed.
Price: 3€

Official Web of the National Archaeological Museum