Thyssen Bornemisza Museum Occupying a Neo-Classical palace from 1806, many critics see this museum as the world's most important private art collection. Assembled by Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza and his son Hans Heinrich, it illustrates the history of Western art from the primitive Flemish and Italian painters, to 20th century Pop Art. The Spanish state bought it in 1993, and today this museum is a strong complement to the Prado and Reina Sofia museums, adding 20th century international artists to the Spanish ones you may have already seen at Reina Sofia. With this museum, you can truly apreciate the entire evolution of the history of art without leaving Madrid. The Thyssen's medieval works are especially outstanding, with a highlight being Van Eyck's "Diptych of the Annunciation". Petrus Christus' "Our Lady of the Dry Tree" and Holbein's celebrated portrait of Henry VIII are two other examples to look out for, as are Rubens' "The Toilet of Venus" and Rembrandt's Self-Portrait, both dating from the 17th century. Later works include a collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist examples, notably Degas' "Swaying Dancer," a couple of Van Gogh paintings, and Cézanne's "Portrait of a Farmer." From the 20th century, see Picasso's "Man with a Clarinet" and "Harlequin with a Mirror," this last one thought by some to represent the artist himself. Other big names from that century in the surrounding galleries include Miró, Dali, Bacon, and Pollock, whose "Brown and Silver I" is especially worth paying close attention to. The same goes for Edward Hopper's "Hotel Room," seen as a study of urban isolation.turkeyarena.com With such a wealth of art, it is not surprising that this magnificent museum attracts almost one million visitors every year. It further makes Madrid the envy of the art world, since the city outbid everyone else for the collection (including the Getty Foundation) ? and it was a great deal for the Spanish capital, since although valued at an estimated $1 billion, the collection was bought for $350 million. After a visit, head to the café-restaurant for its magnificent views of the garden. This area is a good location as a base for your stay in Madrid, since it is right alongside the top three museums and within walking distance of all major sights and attractions. There are plenty of hotels, self-catering apartments, and small, family-run hostels within 1Km of the Thyssen-Bornemisza.turkeyarena.com Practical Information Opening hours of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: - Tuesdays to Sundays and on Public Holidays: 10am to 7pm - 24th December & 31st December: 10am to 3pm - Museum closed on Mondays, 25th December, 1st January and 1st May.