Cerralbo Museum : Hidden Museums of Madrid
Art and daily life at Cerralbo Museum and Palace
Madrid is a city of a thousand museums, and having three of the most important museums in Europe just whithin a few blocks of the city center, it’s easy to overlook or underestimate all the other museums the capital has to offer. However, amongst all of these options we can find true hidden gems in which we can not only find amazing artworks and decor, but also immerse ourselves in the family life of past times, and journey back in time. The Cerralbo Museum is one of these Madrid’s big little secrets.
Built in the year 1893, the Cerralbo Museum and Palace was the residence of the Marquises de Cerralbo, Enrique de Aguilera Gambio and his wife Inocencia Serrano. The Cerralbo family was known in the 19th century for their great enthusiasm towards art collectionism and archaeology. They made several trips through Spain and Europe taking part in archaelogical excavations and taking advantage of the great array of works of Art available in the market at that time thanks to the democratic revolutions on the 19th century that led to the disappearance of many royal and noble families.
Their dedication to their hobbies was so strong, they not only won several awards for their work in these fields, but also managed to amass a collection of some 50.000 pieces between Art and books – painting, sculpture, ceramics, tapestry, jewelery, clocks, armours etc. It was such a huge collection that the Cerralbo family decided to build their palace located between the streets Ventura Rodríguez and Ferraz, to serve both as a home and as a museum to display their huge collection. This is why in the Cerralbo Museum we have the peculiar chance to visit an amazing art collection that features works by masters as renowned as El Greco, Zurbarán, Tintoretto or Van Dyck, as well as the home of a noble family of the 19th century. In the rooms of the museum the artworks live along the furniture, the clocks and ambience of a typical palace of the era.
The marquis decided to donate the entire collection, along with the building to Spain after his death, so it would serve as place for recreation and education for everyone. In the year 1924 the Cerralbo Museum opened its doors to the public. Today we can visit the Cerralbo Museum from Tuesday to Saturday, for just 3€ and for free on Sundays, between 9am to 3pm, and on Thursday and Saturday in the afternoon. A recommended place if you want to go back in time, just like we try to do everyday on our tours through the streets and the stories of Madrid.