Museo Naval, Madrid
The naval museum in Madrid shows in chronological order the most
important historical pieces procured by the navy from the Catholic
Monarchs (1474 - 1517) to the present day. Exhibited are nautical
instruments, artillery pieces, maps, ship models and paintings
portraying vessels and historical naval scenes. The homepage of the
Museo Naval is in Spanish only, but there is one
information leaflet in English. It shows the layout of the museum
and the exhibits in each room.
Take your passport or the driver's license with you! You need to
identify yourself when entering the museum building.
We were there in May 2009 and found it a very fine, interesting museum
with fascinating exhibits. However, there was one serious drawback: all
ship models and many other exhibits were behind glass, and they used a
very poor glass with high reflection. It was very difficult to get a
clear view, and with large objects we had to permanently shift position
to view area by area. Taking photographs was difficult, too, but I show
two exhibits I was very impressed by.
One is a model of the "Nuestra
Senora de la Conception y de las Animas", most probably the first
three-decker the Spanish Navy launched in 1688. The ship and its
construction were very well documented in the shipbuilding manuscript
Arte de Fabricar Reales by Antonio de Gaztañeta Yturribalzaga, written
The other one is a model of the
three-decker Real Carlos of 1766.
In the Trafalgar section there was a
portrait of Federico Gravina, the admiral of the Spanish fleet in
Of course there was a room focussing on the famous Spanish achievements
in the age of discovery, with very fine exhibits, like the models of
Columbus' ships. However, light reflections of the show case glasses
were too bad to take photographs there.
If you click on a photo you will get that photo in high resolution. (If
you use Microsoft Internet Explorer or Firefox, press F11 to minimize
navigation bars and have a larger screen with the photos.)