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Author: Sarah Last updated: Tue 06 Jul 01:20
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The Museum of the Reina Sofia in Madrid

The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía ("Queen Sofia National Museum Art Centre") is a national museum of Spain of 20th-century art. This museum was inaugurated on September 10, 1990. It is located near the metro stations and Atocha train in Madrid.


The Museum of the Reina Sofia depicts Spanish art. The museum includes an excellent collection of two of the greatest 20th-century masters of Spain, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso. Guernica is the most famous masterpiece of this museum, a painting art piece by Picasso of 1937.


The museum offers various international and national exhibitions in its galleries. The Museum of the Reina Sofia is one of the largest museums of contemporary and modern art. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it succeeded in attracting only 1,248,480 visitors, a decline of 72 per cent compared to 2019. But, this is still ranking sixth on the world's most visited museums list.



The building of The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is located on the site of first ever General Hospital of Madrid. King Philip II was the one who centralized all the hospitals scattered throughout the court. King Ferdinand VI decided to build a new hospital because the facilities were not sufficient for the city in the eighteenth century. The museum's building was designed by renowned architect José de Hermosilla and one of his successor Francisco Sabatini, who made a huge contribution.


Then in 1805, after various work stoppages, this building assumed the function it had been built for. This building started its work as a hospital, although one-third of the planned project by Sabatini was completed yet. After, it has undergone numerous additions and modifications. And, in 1969, it was closed down as a hospital.


Art museum

Extensive modern additions and renovations to the old structure were made beginning in 1980. The main building of the museum was a hospital in the 18th century. The building functions as the Art Centre (Centro de Arte) from 1986 until built as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in 1988.  In 1988, sections of the new museum were made accessible for the general public, mostly in a temporary form that the same year it was ordered by the Ministry of Culture as a national museum. Its architectural stature was radically changed in 1989 by Ian Ritchie with three glass circulation towers.



An expansion of about 8 000 square meters costing €92 million was designed by a French expert architect named Jean Nouvel. This expansion was opened for visitors in October 2005. This expansion includes space for temporary exhibitions, a 200 seat auditorium, administration offices, a bookshop, and a restaurant. Arau Acustica was the consultant for acoustic studies, and Ducks scéno was appointed as the consultant for scenographic equipment of auditoriums in this expansion.


The museum mainly displays Spanish art. Its highlights include the excellent collections of the two greatest 20th-century art masters of Spain, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso. Moreover, the most famous masterpiece is a painting by Picasso; Guernica. The collection has artistic masterpieces by artists such as Jorge Oteiza, Julio Romero de Torres, Julio González, Pablo Gargallo, Eduardo Chillida, Juan Gris, Joan Miró, José Gutiérrez Solana, Antoni Tàpies, Pablo Serrano, Luis Gordillo, and Lucio Muñoz.


Besides, International art in the collection represents works by Alexander Calder, Francis Bacon, Cindy Sherman, Damien Hirst, Max Ernst, Fernand Léger, Georges Braque, Henry Moore, Clyfford Still, Jacques Lipchitz and many famous artists.


Opening times

The museum gets opened six days of the week with one day off, but there is a specific opening timing. We have enlisted the opening and closing time of the museum below:


Monday                      10 am to 8 pm

Tuesday                      Closed

Wednesday                10 am to 8 pm

Thursday                   10 am to 8 pm

Friday                        10 am to 8 pm

Saturday                    10 am to 8 pm

Sunday                       10 am to 10: 30 pm


So, if you want to visit this amazingly beautiful museum, make sure to arrive at the timings mentioned above.

The best time to go to the museum exhibition is when the museum is least crowded.

So, the crowd increases when the exhibition is made available to visitors free of cost. The museum exhibition is free of charge on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 7 pm to 9 pm, Friday from 7 to 11 pm, and Sunday from 3 pm to 7 pm.

Of all these free hours, we suggest you visit the museum on Friday between 9 pm to 11 pm because, at these timings, there is the fewest crowd.


How to buy tickets?

The exhibition capacity of this museum is very limited. Provided the number of people visiting it, the time spent waiting in a line might exceed even two hours. It might also be the possibility that the tickets for that day are already sold out by the time you happen to be at the ticket window; in that case, you can visit the rest of the building or buy the tickets for the next day.


Museum ticket window

If you want to buy your tickets for the same day, you need to wait in line and enter during the indicated time slot. Anyhow, if the tickets are unavailable for that day, you can purchase them for the next day from the advanced ticket sale window.


Online purchase

If you want to have an advanced booking, purchase tickets from the online website. In that case, you need to ensure that if you are taking along kids under 18 or any other individual capable of free entrance, you can avail yourself of free tickets at the express ticket window in the museum, of course, by waiting in a line.  You must have to show them the documented evidence of eligibility for free entrance.


We hope that our guide about one of the best places to visit in Spain, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, is helpful enough to answer your queries about the subject matter and interesting enough to make you see the museum as soon as you can.



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