Thyssen Museum

Thyssen Museum

Madrid, Spain – June 2, 2012

This morning Leslie, Tyler, and I drove to the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. It is one of the Trinity of museums in Madrid; including The Prado and the Reina Sofia museums. We departed our home in Pozuelo de Alarcón at about 09:00. We made it to the parking garage at about 09:30. In Madrid, that translates into quickly finding a parking spot.

We emerged from the parking garage, which happened to be right beside the museum and began our hunt for a place to have coffee. We found a place called DOCC Prado. The initials stand for Denominacióon de Origen y Calidad Contrastada. Loosely translated, that means Denomination of Origin and Contrast Quality, located at Calle Prado, 28 at Plaza de las Cortes.

After our coffee, we walked a couple of blocks to the museum entrance. In so doing, we passed by the Groupama Seguros building and the Westin Palace Hotel. Both buildings had some very striking architectural details. The Groupama Seguros building had a large clock to which we returned later.

The Groupama Seguros building and the Westin Palace Hotel on the left.

The Groupama Seguros building.

At the museum, it cost €24 (US$29) to get the three of us entry. I was impressed with the art collection. Virtually every item in the museum is from the private Thyssen-Bornemisza collection. There was an extensive number of works covering many centuries. The oldest painting I saw was from 1310. The most recent one I saw dated from 1925. There is more detail on the paintings in the list of hotlinks below. I had to resort to a list because the museum does not allow photography. Regardless, the museum is a must-see in Madrid.

The rooftop restaurant at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
Sitting on the bench outside the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.

The following list includes my favorite paintings and works. If one wishes to see any of the work, click on the hotlink (courtesy of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum). Just before entering the exhibit spaces, there were four marble sculptures by Auguste Rodin. My two favorites were:

From there, we entered the exhibition spaces and saw the following, among others:

I recognize this is a lengthy list, but it is a fantastic collection of art. As I wrote above, this museum is a must-see.

Shortly after viewing Christ and the Samaritan Woman, we noticed it was 11:55. We hurried out of the museum and walked toward the Westin Palace Hotel. Just across the street from the hotel is the Groupama Seguros (an insurance company) building. It is known for its clock. When it strikes noon, several characters come out and “dance” during the chiming of the bells.

The characters at the Carillón Plus Ultra clock photographed by pedestrians below.
The characters shortly after noon.
Detail of the characters.

After watching the clock show, we returned to the museum because we had not been through the gift store.  We found a couple of magnets for Leslie’s collection.  When we left the store, I saw signs for a restaurant in the museum building.  We followed the signs to the fifth floor, the top of the building.  We sat on the terrace overlooking the entrance of the museum.  Tyler had a Coke while Leslie and I had a vino tinto.

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum as seen from the roof restaurant.

This time, we left the museum and began our walk to the north to the National Library.  We wanted to go there to do some genealogy research on one of Leslie’s great-grandfathers.  Family lore says he was an ambassador from Spain to Mexico.  It was roughly a half-mile walk.  When we got to the front of the library, it was about 13:00.  Leslie suggested we go in because it might close.  I said, “Naw, let’s get some lunch first!”

Pedestrians walking north on Paseo del Prado.
Cars maneuver around the Cibeles Fountain.
The traffic circle at the Cibeles Fountain. The Metropolis building is in the background with the ornate dome.
Part of the sign in front of the Casa de América Cultural Center.

We walked to a restaurant in the median of Paseo de Recoletos in front of the library. It is the Café el Espejo (The Mirror Café). That happens to be the same restaurant Tyler, and I went to last summer when Leslie was in Colorado.
For lunch, I had the sanwich mixto (grilled ham and cheese). Leslie and Tyler each had muselo de pollo asado con patatas fritas y ensalada (roasted chicken leg with French fries and salad). We also shared a pitcher of Sangria. Quite frankly, the Sangria was not very good. That stated, it was empty when we departed.

The bar and service area of El Espejo.

Looking across the table to another group of patrons at El Espejo.

We finished our lunch and arrived at the front doors of the library at about 13:55, only to find they were closing.  Leslie was right!  I will try to go to the library over the next week or two, during my lunch hour, to see what I can discover.

A little depressed, we crossed the street, hailed a taxi, and rode back to the parking garage.  By about 14:45, we were in our home and ready for our siestas.

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