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The Prado museum is the biggest art museum in the world, and was built during the reign of Charles III in the late 1700s. When it was constructed, Charles was trying to create a magnificent monument in the city. The Madrid museum was named Prado, after its location. Meadows still surround the museum and can be a beautiful site in the spring and summer months when the vegetation surrounding the museum is thriving.
The Prado was originally intended to be a natural history museum. After the Spanish war however it was decided to turn the museum into an art gallery. After several changes in ownership and museum add-ons the museum now houses over 10,000 different paintings. 2,000 paintings are on display in the museum, while the majority remain in storage. The museum also houses a variety of different sculptures and drawings, as well as over 1,000 coins and medals.
A good deal of the paintings on display in the museum are royal portraits, however, the museum has several pieces of contemporary art on display as well. Some of the famous painters on display in the museum include Velazquez, Francisco Goya, Hieronymus Bosch, and Bartolome Esteban Murillo.
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday as well as public holidays. Admission is six Euros with a reduced admission price of three Euros for children, students under 25, and large groups. The museum also offers free admission on Sundays and some holidays.