Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia


Santa Isabel, 52

Plaza del Emperador Carlos V

Tel: (+34) 917-741-000

Metro: Atocha

Opening Hours:

Monday to Saturday: from 10,00 to 21,00 h.
Sunday: from 10,00 to 14,30 h.
Closed on Tuesdays, Jan. 1 and 6, May 1 and 15, Sept. 9, Dec. 24, 25 and 31.

Free admission days:

May 18, October 12 and December 6

The building that the museum now occupies started out as the San Jose Hospital, a building designed in the 18th century by the architects Jose de Hermosilla and Francisco Sabatini. The building was remodeled in 1981 and in 1992 the Museo Reina Sofia was inaugurated by the King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. In 1990 the collection of modern Spanish art from the Museo Español de Arte Contemporaneo was transferred to the Reina Sofia. After that Picasso’s Guernica was taken from the Cason del Buen Retiro, a part of the Prado Museum, and placed in the Reina Sofia. To add more space, a new building by Jean Nouvel was constructed in 2001 and finished in 2005.

The museum specializes in Spanish contemporary art, art from the 20th century. The most famous Spanish artists of this time period are found in this museum, namely Picasso, Dali, Miro, Julio Gonzalez, Tapies, Oteiza, Equipo Cronica, Gerardo Rueda, Juan Gris, Pablo Gargallo, and Chillida.

There are many foreign artists represented in the museum, such as Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Max Ernst, Magritte, Man Ray, Andre Masson, Tanguy, Jean Arp, Isamu Noguchi, Yves Klein, Mark Rothko, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, Jean Dubuffet, and Robert Motherwell.

The top floor of the museum is the library, which is Spain’s largest library dedicated to art. The museum has a central patio with a mobile sculpture by Alexander Calder, the library, bookshop, and cafeteria. There are two large glass elevators attached to the façade of the old building.

If one is a modern art lover (likes surrealism, cubism and conceptual art), then the Reina Sofia is the museum one should see. The main attraction of the museum is Picasso’s Guernica, which generates powerful emotions and shows the horrors of war.