Text description provided by the architects. The Real Hospicio del Ave María y Santo Rey Don Fernando was founded in 1673 by the Queen Mariana de Austria.
Between 1673 and 1703, architects including José del Arroyo, Felipe Sánchez, Teodoro Ardemans, Fillippo Pallota and Francisco de Sevilla constructed the first phase of the church and part of the principal building.
In 1721 the architect of the Villa Pedro de Ribera, made very important works of consolidation of the construction and substitution of the old façade for a new one in line with the politics of embellishment of the city that Felipe V had started.
The final boost for the creation of the current museum was the organisation in 1926 of the “Exposición del Antiguo Madrid”, which was a success and awakened a lot of interest. It is for that reason that the Madrid City Council finally decided to create the Museo de Historia, that opened its doors to the public in 1929.
In 1919 it was declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument.
In order to carry out the project, a previous hard work of information gathering was made. This work determined the intervention, it was not just a formal work. The information gathered aimed to help renovate the existing structure and space, adapting it to its functions and consolidating the Museo de Historia. In order to do this, a complete intervention was design in a space of unquestionable artistical and historical value. This interventiondefends cultural heritage not only by recovering an exceptional example of Madrid’s Baroque, but also by strengthening the contents, which are of great value too.
Eventhough there are very few original elements of the old hospice (the façade, the first gallery and the Chapel), keeping the original structure of the building was considered essential from the very beginning. This original structure is used as a link between the new design and the old one, creating a welcoming space that eases the distribution and circuits of the museum.