Profile - Museo Nacional del Teatro

The Museo Nacional del Teatro is the only museum that is exclusively dedicated to the history of the scenic arts in Spain. The objective of the museum is to exhibit the cultural legacy of Spanish theatre in all its forms and since its origin.

The Palacios de los Maestres (Masters' Palaces), situated on the northern side of the main plaza in Almagro, was built in the Middle Ages as the residence of the lay friars and knights of the Order of Calatrava and seat of the Grand Master. In the 16th century it became the residence of the Governor of Almagro, and in the 18th century it was used as the cavalry barracks. In 1802 a section of the palaces was converted into a new priory convent of the Order, until 1816. Subsequently, with the seizure of Mendizábal, the building passed on to private hands and was dismantled.

In 1994 the Almagro City Council donated the Palacios de los Maestres so that it could become the location of the Museo Nacional del Teatro, and since then it has been the object of important works carried out to adapt the remains of a historical building to the needs of a modern museum.

The rehabilitation project and extension of the site includes a complete restoration of the ancient cloister, the construction of a new museum installation around the rear courtyard and the rehabilitation of the passage to the street of the Grand Master to access the library and painting room.

The new museum occupies a surface area of 2,213 square metres, over three levels, distributed into exhibition halls on the three floors, library, warehouses in the basement and on the mezzanine, offices on the upper floor and tower and, finally, a Mudejar cloister for temporary exhibitions and other activities. The museum will also use the old church of San Agustín as an exhibition area and the ancient silo as a warehouse.

The creation of services and installations, like the library, allow the specialised public to consult and research. Pedagogical activities also attend to the needs of schoolchildren, without forgetting the interest and curiosity of the general broader public, who year after year flock to Almagro to attend one of the most established theatre events in the country - the International Classical Theatre Festival. Its proximity to the "Corral de Comedias" (17th century) is a further incentive for theatre lovers.

The Museo Nacional del Teatro is exclusively managed by the Ministry of Culture and a Department of the National Institute of Scenic Arts and Music (INAEM).

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