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The Museo Cerralbo just reopened after renovation that took four and a half years. The museum was started by the 17th Marquis of Cerralbo, who was Enrique de Aguilera y Gamboa (1845-1922). He was a politician, academic writer, archaeologist, and a collector of art, furniture, mirrors, Murano chandeliers, and a very wide variety of collectibles. He inherited a very large fortune from his grandfather, which gave him the resources to be able to collect so many beautiful and expensive things. The museum is in a beautiful 19th century mansion that the Marquis designed to house his collections and was also used as his home. His collections were bought by him and his family as they traveled around the world. Before he died, he willed his mansion and its beautiful collections to the Spanish government, which accepted it in 1924. The Museum has three floors with 32 rooms. The architects of the mansion were A. Sureda, L. Cabello Aso, and L. Cabello Lapiedra. There is a garden that is decorated with busts of Roman emperors and sculptures of mythological figures.
The main staircase is one of Madrid’s most impressive staircases, with marble steps and a beautiful wrought iron banister. The banister came from the palace of Queen Barbara de Braganza. There are large canvases and chandeliers at the staircase. There is a coat of arms of the Marquis also.
There are three galleries on the top floor that contain works of art by Goya, El Greco, Zurbaran, Alonso Cano, Ribera, Veronese and Caravaggio. The Arab Room has a collection of exotic items from Japan, the Philippines, and Morocco. The Armory has more than 400 pieces. The Office and Library have a collection of more than 10,000 books. The very impressive Ballroom has a raised gallery for musicians and is lined with Venetian mirrors and paintings. Many of the rooms have some of the most beautiful Murano chandeliers in Spain. There is a very large Banquet Room with a large mahogany table that can sit 24 persons. The beauty of this museum is that it shows how the aristocrats lived in Madrid in the 19th century.
The mezzanine floor has the Confidence Room where the Marquis received his guests every day. There is an extraordinarily beautiful crystal Murano chandelier there that was created by the Murano artist Antonio Salviati in 1880. This chandelier is called La Gondola, because it resembles a gondola in shape. The lamp is adorned with crystal tulips and daffodils, in green, yellow, pink and turquoise pastel colors. It was exhibited in the Turin Universal Expo in 1884 and won the gold medal. The Marquis bought it shortly after that and in 1885 it is known that the chandelier was hanging in the mansion of the Marquis, as reported by the press at that time. Perhaps it is the most beautiful Murano chandelier in Spain.
Calle Ventura Rodriguez, 17
Tuesday to Saturday: 9:30 am to 3:00 pm.
Sundays and holidays: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Closed Mondays, Jan. 1, Jan. 6, May 1, Dec. 24, 25 and 31.