Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

Hospital Real de San Carlos

An 18th century building for 20th and 21st century art built in 1758

The General Hospital was designed by the engineer and architect José de Hermosilla during the reign of Fernando VI and whose construction began in 1758. With the advent of Carlos III, the work was undertaken by the architect Francisco de Sabatini, who drew up a new project that would not be built in its entirety, although it served as inspiration for the Grand Hospital in Paris.

The building served its purpose as a Provincial Hospital until the 1980s, when it was dismantled. It was then that its transformation into a Museum was conceived and which was begun in 1986 in a renovation designed by the architect Antonio Fernández Alba. The Reina Sofía National Art Centre Museum came into being. At the end of the century, its extension was undertaken through an international bid called in 1999, which was awarded to the architect Jean Nouvel.

As part of its renowned contemporary art collection, the building is home to one of the great icons of 20th century art: Guernica, by Pablo Ruiz Picasso.

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía photograph, taken by Vicente Tofiño

© Vicente Tofiño