The Magnificence of the Spanish Baroque and its Legacy, Madrid

This tour has already taken place and is now here as an archive
Dr Marie-Anne Mancio

Madrid, once the centre of the Spanish empire, is one of Europe’s most vibrant and elegant cities with a rich cultural and artistic heritage. Amongst its highlights are two large collections. One is the world-renowned Prado boasting works by Tintoretto, Velazquez (‘Las Meninas’), Jose Ribera, and El Greco. The other is the equally impressive Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, located in the eighteenth century Palacio de Villahermosa, which has almost 1000 works on display, including Renaissance and Baroque masters. We will also visit other outstanding collections of Spanish masters with works by Zurbarán, Ribera and Murillo: the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the Lázaro Galdiano Museum, and the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, a former convent for nuns of the Royal household. You will trace the legacy of the Baroque in Goya’s ceiling frescoes at the little Hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida where this great artist is buried and also in the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, home to Picasso’s legendary ‘Guernica.’

Your lecturer

Dr Marie-Anne Manico trained as an artist before gaining a D.Phil in Art History and Critical Theory from the University of Sussex. She lectures extensively on art and architecture and at THE COURSE is one of its most popular lecturers. She was recently commissioned by Tate and Pearsons to create online art history courses and writes historical fiction in her spare time, publishing her first novel: Whorticulture.

Your Hotel

Hotel Liabeny (4*) view website »

This elegant 4* hotel is conveniently situated in the heart of Madrid on Calle de la Salud within walking distance of the major museums and main shopping streets. All ensuite rooms offer every modern facility and luxury.

San Lorenzo de El Escorial
San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, Las Meninas, 1656
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, Las Meninas, 1656

The price includes:

  • Lecturing by Dr Marie-Anne Mancio
  • Return scheduled flights from London Heathrow to Madrid Barajas Airport
  • All airport taxes, security charges and local taxes
  • 3 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation at 4* Hotel Liabeny
  • 2 lunches
  • 3 dinners
  • All coach transfers to and from Madrid Barajas airport
  • All coach transfers in and around Madrid as per itinerary
  • Allowance for taxi transportation to and from dinner venues as appropriate
  • All entrance charges to visits as per the itinerary
  • Services of a qualified, English speaking guide on first day
  • Vox guides porterage

The price does not include:

  • Teas or coffees during any mid morning / mid afternoon breaks
  • Refreshments
  • Lunch on days 2 and 3
  • Any incidental and personal expenditure (laundry, telephone, etc)
  • Taxis or other transport not specified
  • Personal insurance

A £400.00 deposit is needed to confirm your place on the tour.

This tour is organised by Heritage Group Travel who are responsible for all the arrangements. Please refer to Heritage Group Travel Booking Terms and Conditions which can be sent upon request. The Company holds ATOL number 3707 and ABTOT licence number 5093 for your protection. This itinerary is subject to change should local conditions or unexpected restrictions occur. As the tour is arranged many months in advance visits may be subject to amendment.

Book your place

Places are limited so please book early. For further information:

Mary Bromley
020 7266 7815
E Mail:
The Course, 105 William Court, 6 Hall Road, London NW8 9PB

The Tour: Itinerary

Day 1/ Tuesday 5 April

London – Madrid
British Airways from London Heathrow Airport

Arrival in Madrid

Transfer by private coach to El Escorial

Lunch in local tapas restaurant

Visit El Escorial

We start our tour at the vast and impressive royal mausoleum, monastery and royal retreat which is an embodiment of Spanish history and was built under the orders of Phillip II in 1562. It is said he wanted "to build a palace for God and a humble abode for a king." Taking almost 25 years to complete, we will explore its cloisters and atmospheric mausoleum, its basilica of 43 altars with works such as Titian’s Christ on the Cross, and Tibaldi’s superb frescoed library.

Continue to Madrid for check in Hotel Liabeny.

Dinner in hotel restaurant

San Lorenzo de El Escorial (2)
San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Gardens
San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Library

Day 2 / Wednesday 6 April

Lázaro Galdiano Museum

By private coach to this museum, previously home to intellectual and financier Dr. Jose Lazaro Galdiano (1862- 1947) who loved art and books. This resulted in the Lázaro Galdiano Museum, one of the best private art collections in Europe. Galdiano amassed portraits by Goya and paintings by El Greco, Velázquez, and Bosch, alongside exquisite jewellery, Limoges enamels, and Venetian chandeliers.

Lunch at leisure

MuseoLázaro Galdiano
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Witches Sabbath
Master of Parral, St Jerome in the Scriptorium, 1480 - 1490

Museo del Prado

By private coach to the world-renowned Museo del Prado which opened in 1819 through the efforts of Isabel de Braganza and her husband Ferdinand VII in Juan de Villaneuva’s neo-classical building of 1785. Flaunting the incredible legacy of the collections of Spain’s Habsburg and Bourbon monarchs (who boasted Velázquez and Goya as their court painters), the museum has numerous masterpieces, including the intriguing Las Meninas.

Once our guided visit is over, you will have time to continue exploring the Prado alone if you wish, or return to the hotel, a short walk away.

Dinner in local restaurant

West Facade, Prado Museum
El Greco, The Annunciation, 1570

Day 3 / Thursday 7 April

Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando

By private coach to downtown Madrid and the former art school Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando where both Dali and Picasso studied. There you will see paintings by masters like Arcimboldo, Bellini, Murillo, Rubens, and Juan Gris, as well as sculpture, several of the museum’s 15,000 drawings, a selection of its fine collection of silver, tapestries, porcelain, and clocks.

Lunch at leisure

Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando
R. Michel, Philip V of Spain, 1780

Thyssen Bornemisza Museum

Walk to this museum which is housed in an early nineteenth century, neo-classical palacio. Its art works, amassed by the family over two generations, span all periods from the Renaissance to Pop art, in a chronological display.

Return to the hotel on foot

Dinner in a local restaurant

Domenico Ghirlandaio, c.1449-1494, Giovanna Tornabuoni
François Boucher, The Toilette, 1742

Day 4 / Friday 8 April

Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, (Royal Barefoot Sisters)

Check out of hotel after breakfast and walk short distance to Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, (Royal Barefoot Sisters) founded by Juana, the youngest daughter of Charles V who converted the original medieval palace into a convent for nuns and women of the royal household. Their dowries made it possible to purchase exquisite paintings by Brueghel the Elder, Titian, Zuburan, Murillo and Jose Ribera all now visible in this hidden gem.

Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales
Joris van der Straeten, Elizabeth of Austria Queen consort of Charles IX of France, 1573
Francisco Ricci, Decoration of the Capilla del Milagro, 1678

Ermita of San Antonio de la Florida

Short transfer by coach to the Ermita of San Antonio de la Florida, a small church renowned for its Goya frescoes built during the reign of Carlos IV on the former pastureland of La Florida. It is also where this important artist is buried.

Lunch in a local restaurant

Hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, The Miracle of St Anthony, 1798
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

Visit the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía which was first opened to the public in 1992. Housed in the 18th century Hospital General de San Carlos, the building was used as a hospital until the 1960s when it was closed down and almost demolished. Today it provides 12,500 sq metres of exhibition space for a national collection of contemporary art. In 1992 the now famous external glass lifts were added. The collection brings together the contents of the former Spanish Contemporary Art Museum, the 20th century works from the Prado, bequests by Dali and Miro and is also home to Picasso’s legendary ‘Guernica.’

Le Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstroke, 1996

Madrid – London

By private coach to Madrid airport

Depart British Airways
Arrival at London Heathrow Airport