Talk about convenient—the Reina Sofia was across the street from our hotel and then a block along a pedestrian mall. It is something to experience. From Wikipedia:
The building is on the site of the first General Hospital of Madrid. King Philip II centralized all the hospitals that were scattered throughout the court. In the eighteenth century, King Ferdinand VI decided to build a new hospital because the facilities at the time were insufficient for the city. The building was designed by architect José de Hermosilla and his successor Francisco Sabatini who did the majority of the work. In 1805, after numerous work stoppages, the building was to assume its function that it had been built for, which was being a hospital, although only one-third of the proposed project by Sabatini was completed. Since then it has undergone various modifications and additions until, in 1969, it was closed down as a hospital.
That explains the passenger elevators added along the northeast wall on the outside. It also explains (to me) the lingering smell of disinfectant. It may be impossible to get rid of that once a building has been a hospital.
What we wanted to see particularly was Picasso’s Guernica. Our handy guide from the front desk showed us it’s on the second floor, in room 206. It’s a gallery named “Guernica and the 1930s.” And the Picasso is amazing to see.
I understood it to be a mural, but its immensity was overwhelming. I figured that even if the museum agreed to sell it to me there is no way I could get it in my house, let alone on the flight back to San Antonio. No photos, of course, but here is an image from the Internet:
Sorry. Picasso painted it in black and white to preserve the starkness of the tragedy of Guernica.
This exhibit was the highlight of our visit. The museum has additional works of Picasso, plus many others. I will do a review of our visit in another post. Keep reading.