On Saturday, IES sponsored a day trip to Madrid to visit the museums. We arrived around 10:30am and immediately went to El Museo del Prado, one of the most important art museums in the world. We went on a guided tour to see the most important works of art, including art by El Greco, Francisco de Goya, and Diego Velázquez. It was amazing to see the art I’ve studied in Spanish classes for so many years in person. My favorite painting in El Prado was “Las Meninas,” a painting by Velázquez.
After El Prado, we were given free time to eat lunch and explore a little bit of Madrid. I went with some friends to El Parque del Buen Retiro, a huge park near to the city center to eat our sandwiches.
There was so much to explore, and we saw everything we could before we had to meet back with the group. My favorite part was the glass palace installment, and there was also a section of the park where lots of people were spending the sunny day on rowboats. On our way back to meet the group we stopped at Nutellería Madrid, a small café/restaurant that serves Nutella on everything! I had a Nutella milkshake and it was fantastic.
When we met back with the group, we walked over to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid’s museum of contemporary art. Featured artists here include Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso. We learned that the era of contemporary art is defined by the year when Pablo Picasso was born, which is crazy because he essentially came into the world and redefined the timeline of art. The most important piece of art in the museum is “Guernica”, a painting by Picasso created as a statement against the violence of the Spanish Civil War. This painting was my favorite in both museums because it conveys the pain and injustice that the country experienced during the war, and my favorite touch is that Picasso also painted a flower as a symbol of peace and hope amongst the torment.
It was a great day in Madrid, and I’m so excited to keep exploring Spain!