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The House of the Sun and the Church of San Benito

Exposición en Casa del Sol

The same street is home to the House of the Sun, a Renaissance palace built by Sancho Díaz de Leguizamo. It stood out at beginning of the 17th century due to the influential personality of its new owner, the Count of Gondomar. Philip III's ambassador to England, scholar and bibliophile, he possessed one of the most remarkable libraries of the time.

From the 16th century, the Church of San Benito el Viejo was integrated into the house, becoming the family chapel. We know that the crypt was considered emblematic for its decoration, painted on Gondomar’s commission by the painters Pedro Díez Minaya and his son Diego Valentín Díaz.

In the 19th century, the building went from being a private residence to play other roles. Finally, it was acquired by the State in 1999 to integrate it into its Museum expansion project.

Since 2011, the former church has been home to the collection of the now-defunct National Museum of Artistic Reproductions, produced in the 19th and 20th centuries by the best workshops of their time. Its large nave, painted white as required by Italian Renaissance purists, evokes the appearance of a classical temple.

A sober, diaphanous and modern setting welcomes visitors, who will find copies of great myths and masterpieces of classical antiquity, such as the Belvedere Torso, the Laocoön and the Mask of Agamemnon.

It regularly presents temporary exhibitions of modern artists in dialogue with classical works.

The Sleeping Museum

The Sleeping Museum is a documentary that illustrates the twists and turns of a collection that has been wandering for centuries, a sleeping beauty that has finally found its permanent home in Valladolid.