advertisement

Renamed from the Museo de San Isidro in 2013, this museum sits on the site where San Isidro Labrador and his wife, Santa Maria de la Cabeza, were said to have lived in the 12th century. The humble farmer was elevated to the patron saint of Madrid (which celebrates him with a festival in May). Legend says their son fell into their well and was miraculously rescued by their prayers—the first public evidence of their holiness. The well remains as one of the museum’s chief exhibits. This municipal museum also deals with the secular prehistory and history of Madrid from the arrival of the first humans who hunted along the Río Manzanares some 300,000 years ago through Madrid’s apotheosis as Spain’s capital. Signage is in Spanish, but the museum makes very good use of portrait reproductions to literally put a face to many of the city’s most important movers and shakers.