Through this exhibition, the Prado is paying tribute to its own history and to the origins of its building, originally designed as a Natural History museum.
On 19 November 1819, the Prado opened its doors to the public for the first time as the Museo Nacional de Pinturas y Esculturas (National Museum of Paintings and Sculptures). However, the Neo-classical building designed by Juan de Villanueva that now houses the Prado was originally designed as the Royal Natural History Cabinet on the orders of Charles III in 1785.
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