Museum of Money 

Calle Doctor Esquerdo, 36 

Tel: 915-666-544 

Hours: 

Tuesday – Friday: 10:00-17:30h. 

Saturday, Sunday, and holidays: 10:00-14:00h. 

Web:

Museum of Money

The Museum of Money is called the Museo Casa de la Moneda. The entrance to the museum is always free, but the money one sees in it is not free. The museum is one of the less known museums in Madrid, but it is big, very interesting, and worthwhile to see. There is a large amount of art that it contains also, which is unexpected. The Money Museum is considered to be one of the most important museums of its kind in the world. 

Tomas Francisco Prieto was the Master Engraver to the Mints of King Carlos III and he was also the Director of Intaglio Engraving at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. He founded a school of engraving in 1771 where he taught artists who would work in the mints of Spain and America. He collected drawings, engravings, coins and medals to teach his students. When he died in 1783 this collection became the basis for the present museum. The museum was opened in 1867 at the Plaza de Colon in the Spanish Mint Building, during the reign of Isabella II. The museum was transferred to its present location in 1964. 

It seems that the Greeks were the first people to use coins. The museum has beautiful silver coins made by the Greeks and their monetary system was based on the drachma. The Romans started depicting their emperor on coins and he represented the State. When the Phoenicians and Greeks landed in Spain, they started producing their own coins. Later the Romans and the Byzantines came and also produced their own money. When the Arabs conquered Spain, they started making the dinar, dirham, and the fals. It is interesting that every new Arab conqueror who came to Spain produced his own coinage, and this included the Almoravides and theAlmohades. Their coins did not have any images. Next came the Christian conquerors, who used images of their rulers. Later the House of Austria had its own designs. The mints of Latin America produced pieces of eight from silver. The coin later was called the peso and then the duro. Finally paper currency arrived in the 19th century. 

There is a pair of bronze equestrian statues of Carlos V and Felipe II that is very impressive in the museum. The museum store is very good and sells many euro coin sets and commemorative medals for collectors.

Unfortunately all the explanations of the coins are in Spanish, but one needs them only for detail because one can see the beauty of the coins. Perhaps the museum will add explanations in English in the future when more tourists visit the museum. No photography is allowed in the museum.