Palacio de Velázquez

This beautiful neoclassical building is an exhibition hall located in Buen Retiro Park.

TravelCurious Tip

Check the Reina Sofia website before you go to see what exhibitions will be on.

Mineral wealth

Presided over by King Alfonso XII and his wife Queen Maria Christina of Austria in 1883, the Exposición Nacional de Minería - or to give it its full title in English, the ‘National Exhibition of Mining, Metallurgical Arts, Ceramics, Glass and Mineral Waters’ - was quite an event. Aimed to promote the Spanish mining industry, it saw exhibitors from Spain and other countries display machinery, utensils and tools over 9 square kilometres of Buen Retiro Park.

The main pavilion for the exhibition was built by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco (also the architect of the nearby Palacio de Cristal). Other purpose-built facilities, including an adjoining avenue lined with oversized ceramic frogs that led to an artificial lake, were demolished after the exhibition, but Palacio Velázquez survives.

Fine art

Palacio Velázquez is a large and impressive construction: its red-brick neoclassical façade is comprised of arcades, with tiles by ceramist Daniel Zuloaga in a decorative style typical of the architect. The vaulted iron and glass roof floods the space with natural light.

Inside, world-class art exhibitions have been held for nearly 100 years, including contemporary shows by Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Juan Muñoz and José Manuel Boto. It currently plays host to temporary exhibitions held by Madrid’s Reina Sofia museum.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Madrid
Buen Retiro Park
The green heart of Madrid, hosting an array of gardens and monuments.
Estanque del Retiro
An impressive artificial lake that complements The Monument to Alfonso XII in Buen Retiro Park.
Monument to Alfonso XII
An equestrian statue of the monarch in the centre of Buen Retiro Park, offering the best view over the lake.
Casón del Buen Retiro
One of two remaining 17th-century buildings in Buen Retiro Park, the Casón is home to a famous fresco.
Palacio de Cristal
The extraordinary glass and iron palace built to display the flora of the Philippines in 1887.
San Jerónimo el Real
A 16th century Roman Catholic church with royal connections, now used by the Prado Museum.

Related Tours

Madrid's Private Half Day Highlights with skip-the-line Prado tickets
This four hour tour will introduce you to the lives of some of the most influential artists of Europe, followed by a memorable walk around the stunning Buen Retiro Park. 

  • Commence your tour at the Prado Museum
  • Take in the phenomenal architecture and masterpieces.
  • Learn about major art movements. 
  • Re-fuel with a swift coffee break.
  • Cruise through Buen Retiro Park.
  • Snap pictures of the Monument to Alfonso XII and el Casón del Buen Retiro building.
The Very Best of Art and Culture

You will begin your tour at the Spanish national art museum: the Prado Museum. Founded in 1819, it is well worth a visit just for its stunning neoclassical architecture, let alone its impressive collection of some 8,000 paintings and many beautiful sculptures, drawings and prints. Here, your expert guide will endeavour to shed some light on the major art movements you will see in the museum, including the Renaissance and Baroque. 

You will also learn about the fascinating social and cultural background of some of the most iconic paintings house in the museum, such as the Spanish masterpiece Las Meninas by Velazquez; Artwork by Fran Angelico, gifted creator of The Annunciation; Christ Washing the Disciple’s feet by Tintoretto, and masterpieces by the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. 

Sublime Walk

After a well deserved coffee break, you will head over to the fabulous Buen Retiro Park, where your guide will walk you through its rich history, traced back to Isabella I (1505). You will notice stunning sights such as the artificial lake that complements the impressive Monument to Alfonso XII, and el Casón del Buen Retiro building; one of two remaining 17th-century additions to the park and former home of King Philip IV. 

Well worth a visit, this is now a museum housing an incredible collection of 19th and 20th century paintings, including work by the Spanish painter, Joaquín Sorolla. On days in which the church is open to the public, you will also have the opportunity to visit the absolutely beautiful Church of San Jeronimos; and the crowning place of King Juan Carlos in 1975.


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