The history of civilisations
Created by Queen Isabella II, it is located next to the National Library.
The museum came into being at the end of the 19th century, and was designed to bring together and exhibit items related to archaeology, ethnography, decorative arts and coins from a range of different institutions. The permanent collection offers a journey through the history of Spain from prehistoric times to the 19th century. Its collection includes excellent pieces from all periods and styles, including Egyptian sarcophagi and mummies, Hispano-Roman decorative art, Arab archaeology and Mudéjar stonework and ceramics. It has a library specialising in scientific publications on art, history, archaeology and museology. One of its most highly-prized treasures is the bust of the Lady of Elche.