Founded in 1929 in a former 17th-century hospice, this museum houses paintings, drawings, pictures, ceramics, furniture, and other objects illustrating Madrid's history. Exhibits are separated into four major historic periods—Empire, Enlightment, Industrial Revolution, and Modern Times. The museum's collection of around 40,000 items (some of which are in storage at the Centro Conde Duque and brought here only for temporary exhibitions) span the five centuries since Felipe
II brought the royal court to Madrid. The restored ornamented facade—a baroque jewel by Pedro de Ribera—and the painstakingly precise, nearly 18-foot model of Madrid—a project coordinated by León Gil de Palacio in 1830—are the two stand-out exhibits you should not miss.