If you're looking for a comprehensive look at the trajectory of Madrid's history, then the History Museum of Madrid is the place to go. The museum's exhibitions, dispersed across five floors, trace Madrid's development from prehistoric times up through present day. Representative objects such as articles of clothing, guns and clocks are extremely interesting. You'll also have the chance to view old maps, photographs and documents; of particular interest are documents and books published by the Council and reproduced medieval texts - like the 1202 charter - from the city archives. The objective of the museum is to put on display the elements - history, infrastructure, etc. - that have played a significant role in securing Madrid's place as one of the world's most important cities.
The first floor is dedicated to the assembly room and contains a gallery of portaits of the vast majority of the city's mayors, going all the way back to Carlos III. This floor is also home to temporary exhibitions, while the second, third and fourth floor are home to the permanent exhibition.
The exhibitions found on the second floor of the Museum of the History of Madrid are themed around the transformations experienced by Madrid's infrastructures: gas, telephone services, water supply, electricity, lighting, etc. You can also peruse the section about public transportation, with exhibitions covering both street-level (bus & tram) and underground (metro) modes of transport as well as a section dedicated solely to the airport.
The first and second floors of the museum are also home to a unique collection of very realistic models and reconstructions which range from Roman and Muslim houses to statues of Spanish monarchs, models of entire neighborhoods and a reprodution of the picturesque Plaza de la Villa. Definitely worth a peek!
The third floor covers the trajectory of Madrid's history, ranging from prehistory up through the 18th century. Here you can learn all about the Roman, Muslim and Christian periods, as well as Madrid under the Habsburg and Bourbon dynasties. The fourth floor continues this historical look at Madrid with exhibitions on the urban development and construction programs such as the Puerta del Sol, the Plaza del Oriente and Ciudad Lineal, which were all initiated throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.