Art in Spain

The Prado in Madrid has one of the great collections in Europe, but don't miss the remarkable MNAC — it's filled with Catalonian art, most remarkably the 1000-year-old Romanesque frescoes removed from churches in remote regions for protection.

The Mosque of Bāb al-Mardūm (the Church of Santa Cruz), Toledo
The Mosque of Bāb al-Mardūm (the Church of Santa Cruz), Toledo

The Mosque of Bāb al-Mardūm—and its conversion into a church—embodies the multi-religious reality of medieval Spain, where architecture and art were informed by the cultural complexity of such a dynamic setting.

Colony of Augusta Emerita, Mérida
Colony of Augusta Emerita, Mérida

The colony of Augusta Emerita, which became present-day Mérida in Estremadura, was founded in 25 B.C. at the end of the Spanish Campaign and was the capital of Lusitania.

The Cistercian Poblet Monastery
The Cistercian Poblet Monastery

This Cistercian abbey in Catalonia is one of the largest in Spain.

Royal monastery of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
Royal monastery of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

The monastery is an outstanding repository of four centuries of Spanish religious architecture.

Rock art on the Iberian coast
Rock art on the Iberian coast

The late prehistoric rock-art sites of the Mediterranean seaboard of the Iberian peninsula form an exceptionally large group.

University of Alcalá de Henares
University of Alcalá de Henares

Founded by Cardinal Jiménez de Cisneros in the early 16th century, Alcalá de Henares was the world's first planned university city.

Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain (UNESCO/NHK)
Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain (UNESCO/NHK)

Seventeen decorated caves of the Paleolithic age were inscribed as an extension to the Altamira Cave

Melchor Pérez de Holguín, <em>Entry of the Viceroy Archbishop Morcillo into Potosí</em>
Melchor Pérez de Holguín, Entry of the Viceroy Archbishop Morcillo into Potosí

Pérez de Holguín creates an opulent vision of the city of Potosí, disregarding the infamous stories of poverty and exploitation in the mines of the Cerro Rico

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, <em>The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables</em>
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables

The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables is the most famous painting by the most acclaimed Spanish painter of the latter half of the seventeenth century

Antoni Gaudí, Park Güell
Antoni Gaudí, Park Güell

If visitors know one thing about Barcelona before boarding a plane, it is the surname of the city’s most celebrated architect, Antoni Gaudí

Conservation: Cast of the Pórtico de la Gloria
Conservation: Cast of the Pórtico de la Gloria

In 1866, the Victoria & Albert Museum commissioned an Italian plaster maker to journey to Spain to make a copy of a monument of Romanesque art. See how the museum takes care of it more than 150 years later.

Alejo Fernández, <em>The Virgin of the Navigators</em>
Alejo Fernández, The Virgin of the Navigators

If we read Alejo Fernández's The Virgin of the Navigators closely, we can learn an enormous amount about Spain’s role in exploration, trade and commerce, conquest and colonization, and slavery.