The opening of the Galería de las Colecciones Reales in Madrid is just around the corner

Scheduled to open in July, the Royal Collections Gallery in Madrid (in Spanish Galería de las Colecciones Reales) will be the largest museum in Spain and one of the largest in Europe. 8,000 square meters of space open to the public, hundreds of artworks and two decades of work to open the museum which will house the collections of the Spanish Crown.

The facade of the Galería de las Colecciones Reales
Courtesy Patrimonio Nacional

The Gallery will be the main dissemination and projection tool of the Patrimonio Nacional, the body responsible for managing the Spanish state museums, which will also use the new cultural centre as a showcase for other royal sites, such as the Royal Palace, the Escorial and the Palacio del Prado. The collections of the Spanish crown will have the opportunity here to show themselves in all their richness, excellence and diversity, accompanied by vast cultural programs aimed at demonstrating the commitment of the Patrimonio Nacional in the field of restoration, conservation and enhancement of the historical, cultural and natural heritage of the country.

Overview of the Royal Palace with the Galería de las Colecciones Reales
Courtesy Patrimonio Nacional

The project, whose original idea dates back to 1998, has cost the public coffers 170 million euros and twenty-five years of work. The new colossal building was designed by architects Emilio Tuñón and Luis Moreno Mansilla, with the aim of making it almost invisible when seen from the square where the Almudena Cathedral stands. Ideally it is the extension of the stone base of the Royal Palace, organically inserted within the natural-architectural landscape of the city of Madrid, without renouncing a strong and purely contemporary character.

The structure, which will follow a descending path through three exhibition levels, will retrace the various cores of the collection, exploring the action of generations of Spanish royalist patronage.

Numerous works by great Iberian and non-Iberian masters, including Bosch, Titian, El Greco, José de Ribera, Diego Velázquez and Caravaggio, will dialogue with tapestries and armour in the vast halls of the new museum.

Caravaggio, Salomè with the head of Battista (1607), one of the masterpieces exhibited at the Galería de las Colecciones Reales
Courtesy Patrimonio Nacional

The inauguration, initially scheduled for June 28, was postponed to July 25, “in order not to interfere with the electoral calendar”. Despite this, the Gallery will remain open to the public on the scheduled date and format, with four days of opening from 29 June to 2 July.