I continue on my walk down Paseo del Prado towards Atocha square and at building number 8 I stumble upon the Villaherma Palace, one of the most important in Madrid. Since 1992 it has been the headquarters of one of the most important art collection in Spain and I would dare to say the world as well, the Tyseen-Bornemisza Museum.
The building’s origins go back to the 17th century when Spain’s elite lived in this area, although the buildings actual state corresponds more with the beginning of the 19th century. It’s the work of the architect Antonio Lopez Aguado, who was a disciple of Juan De Villanueva, who crafted the Prado Museum, not too far down the street. As his name indicates, D. Juan Pablo de Aragon-Azlor, the 11th Duke of Villahermosa and descendent of Juan II of Aragon, acquired the Casa de Atri in 1777 from its previous tenant, the widowed Duchess of Atri. The gardens used to reach the building where the current Banco de Espana (Bank of Spain) stands.