National Museum of Archaeology
Students' Corner

The Museo Arqueológico Nacional - National Museum of Archaeology - was founded towards the end of the 19th century and its varied collection spans everything from pre-history through Iberian tribes, the Roman Empire, Spain under the Visigoths, the Muslim Conquest and more. The museum shares a roof with the massive Biblioteca Nacional (National Library).

The basement floor has displays on prehistoric man, the Neolithic Age and the Iron Age. Here you'll also find modest collections from ancient Egypt, classical Greece, Etruscan Italy and exhibits covering the ancient civilizations once found on teh Canary and Balearic Islands. The ground floor is far and away the most interesting, with sculpted figures like the Dama de Elche and Dama de Baza dating back to Iberian times, along with a splendid mosaics from Spain's time under Imperial Rme and a spectacular display of Muselim art, the centerpiece of which is a series of arches taken from the Aljafería in Zaragoza.

Other collections include objects, religious items, sculpted tombs and artwork from the Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance periods, amongst others.

National Museum of Archaeology Highlights

  • Tesoro de Guarrazar - Treasure of Guarrazar
    7th-century Visigothic votive crowns and golden crosses found near Toledo
  • Iberian Tribes
    Sculptures, like the Dama de Elche, from the 4th - 6th centuries B.C.
  • Cuevas de Altamira - Caves of Altamira
    Replica of the prehistoric cave paintings discovered in Altamira, Spain
  • Greek & Roman
    Vases, mosaics, statues
  • Islamic Spain
    Arches taken from Zaragoza's Aljaferías, an elaborate astrolabe, artwork, etc.

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