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Guggenheim Museum. Bilbao

Libraries and museums

Spain has a very extensive network of libraries and museums throughout the Spanish territory where some of the most valuable cultural and world art treasures are held.

The most important library is the National Library in Madrid, inaugurated in 1712.
There are 25 million items in its collection, of which many are unique, singular, ancient and incunabular books. It also holds an extraordinary collection of recordings and manuscripts. Other libraries of great importance are the library of the Complutense University, the library of the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial and the Archivo de Indias. The network of public libraries is extensive and admission is generally free, or almost free of charge. They offer numerous facilities to students and researchers who wish to consult books that are not available to the general public. This also applies to the museums. In Spain there are over 1.400 museums and graphic museum collections. The most famous museum of all is the Museo del Prado, although there are many more that offer immeasurable heritage value. Admission to many museums in Spain is free and those that charge entrance fees offer discounts for students, old age pensioners and citizens of the European Union.