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Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativashttp://mnartesdecorativas.mcu.es/
Metro: Retiro or Banco de España
Tuesday to Saturday: 9:30 to 15:00 h.
Sundays and holidays: 10:00 to 15:00 h.
Closed: Every Monday, Jan. 1, May 1, Dec. 24, 25, 31, and local holidays.
Free Entrance: Sundays, May 18 (International Day of Museums), Oct. 12 (Fiesta Nacional de España), Dec. 6 (Constitution Day).
The National Museum of Decorative Arts is dedicated to the decorative arts, as the title suggests. This museum opened in 1932 in the Calle Montalban in the Palace of the Duquesa de Santoña, built in the 1880’s. The Spanish government bought the building in 1941 and remodeled the building. There are 15,000 objects in the collection that are exhibited in the museum, out of 40,000 objects that the museum owns. The exhibition area consists of 70 rooms on 5 floors. Most of the objects were made in Spain but there are many foreign objects that show how tastes changed over time.
There is a large Chinese selection, including Ming and Qing Dynasty porcelain. There are Chinese clothing, musical instruments, and rolled paintings.
Other collections are those of furniture, porcelain, religious items, silver, gold, chests, carpets, altars, clocks, ceramics, mirrors, beds, sculptures, cups, arms, vases, textiles, medals, wall hangings, and fans.
The Valencia Kitchen was transferred from a palace in Valencia in 1941. It was made in the 18th century and has beautiful tiles showing popular themes. It shows scenes of preparing chocolates and sweets by the servants of the house. There is a wonderful image of the Virgen del Carmen. The kitchen also shows the cooking utensils used at that time. This kitchen is probably the most interesting thing to see in the museum.
This museum will appeal to people who enjoy seeing beautiful things for the home. By looking at the exhibition, one can see how tastes have changed over time. The objects bring back memories of the past and help people today understand how people in the past used to live, and what they found beautiful during that time.