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Madrid, Spain
Introduction   
 
 
The Museo Arqueológico Nacional, or the National Archaeological Museum, is located at the corner of Calle de Serrano and Calle de Jorge Juan in Madrid, Spain. Take the Serrano or Retiro stops on the metro. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30am to 8:30pm and on Sundays from 9:30am to 2:30pm. Admission is 3€ ($4) for adults. The cost is free for seniors and children. On Saturday and Sunday it is free for everyone. The museum is housed in an enormous neoclassical building that it shares with the National Library.
 
The collection of the Museo Arqueológico Nacional starts with the prehistoric and continues up until the Renaissance. Much of its collection comes from Spain, but the rest of Europe and some Spanish colonies are also represented. Religious art is the most represented type of work at the National Archaeological Museum. Most Christian pieces were taken directly from churches and monasteries and are beautifully preserved. The Spanish Islamic collection is outstanding. There are also a lot of pre-Christian religious artifacts.
 
The most talked about exhibit at the Museo Arqueológico Nacional is The Lady of Elche, a stone statue carved in 4th century Iberia (now Spain). In her headdress you can see the origins of the traditional Spanish costume, the mantilla. Another must see exhibit is a life-sized replica of prehistoric cave paintings from Altamira featuring horses, bison, and boars. There are also many exhibits featuring the plastic and decorative arts of the Spain from its Greek colonization to the Renaissance.

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