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National Archaeological Museum, Madrid

Photo © Luis García. View all images in our National Archaeological Museum Photo Gallery.
Photo © Luis García.
Photo © Luis García.
Photo © Luis García.
Photo © Luis García.

The National Archaeological Museum of Spain (Museo Arqueológico Nacional) in Madrid contains a wealth of exhibits from Spain and beyond, ranging in date from prehistoric to Renaissance times. Housed in a Neoclassical building, the museum shares a roof with the National Library.

What to See

The M.A.N. (as the museum is known for short) contains a wealth of religious art. Many of the exhibits were removed from churches and monasteries and there are many ancient sacred artifacts as well.

One of the most popular exhibits is an underground replica of the prehistoric cave paintings discovered in Altamira, Cantabria. For preservation reasons, access to the original is highly restricted. The paintins feature bison, horses, and boars.

A highlight of the main museum is La Dama de Elche (Lady of Elx in English), a bust of a wealthy 5th-century BC Iberian woman. Her elaborate headgear is a precursor to the mantillas and hair combs of traditional Spanish dress.

A collection of Visigothic votive crowns were discovered in 1859 near Toledo and have been dated to the 8th century. A beautiful choir stall from the palace of Palencia dates from the 14th century.

There are also Greek vases, Roman mosaics, and various exhibits from Ibiza, Paestum, and Rome, including statues of Tiberius and his mother, Livia. The outstanding Islamic Spain collection includes an elaborate astrolabe from 11th-century Toledo.

Other collections include Spanish Renaissance lusterware, Talavera pottery, Retiro porcelain, and some rare 16th- and 17th-century Andalusian glassware. Finally, the prehistoric Altamira cave paintings (chiefly of wild animals), discovered near Santander in northern Spain in 1868, are displayed in full-size reproductions.

Quick Facts on National Archaeological Museum

Site Information
Names:Museo Arqueológico Nacional, M.A.N.; National Archaeological Museum; National Archaeological Museum, Madrid
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Madrid, Spain
Coordinates:40.423608° N, 3.689389° W  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of National Archaeological Museum

Below is a location map and aerial view of National Archaeological Museum. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.


  1. Museo Arqueológico - Fodor's Spain
  2. Museo Arqueológico Nacional - Frommer's Spain
  3. Official Website of the Museo Arqueológico Nacional
  4. M.A.N. (Madrid) - Flickr photo set by Luis García, with detailed Spanish and English captions

More Information

Article Info

Title:National Archaeological Museum, Madrid
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:07/17/2009
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/spain/madrid-archaeological-museum/italy/rome">National Archaeological Museum, Madrid</a>