Barcelona Tourist Guide: Museums
Museums & Galleries in BarcelonaThere are over 55 museums in Barcelona covering a plethora of subjects including art, history, architecture, science, sports, war and maritime. On this page we've reviewed just a few of the most popular museums in Barcelona and provided you with links to their web sites for further information.
93 319 6310
Since he was 14 the famous artist lived and worked in Barcelona. Discover some of the most important and significant pictures of Pablo Picasso, beginning with his early youth up to his famous blue and red period. The Picasso museum is 'the' museum to visit in Barcelona. For the artist and for the building. Imagine in Montcada street, in the Gothic area, five medieval palaces linked together to make a museum. So charming to visit and a very fast immersion in Catalan?s ambient. Concerning Pablo Ruiz Picasso the museum is indispensable for understanding its formative years. The genius of the young artist is revealed through the more than 3,500 works that make up the permanent collection. It also reveals his relationship with Barcelona: an intimate, solid relationship that was shaped in his adolescence and youth, and continued until his death.
Joan Miro Foundation
93 443 9470
The building designed by Josep Lluís Sert offers you a moment of calm and beatitude: experience of light and beautiful spaces. Among the trees, you will have a stunning view of the city and the chance to discover the work of Miró who throughout his life took a particular interest in the diversity of materials, forms and colours. It led him to explore and experiment with different art forms such as painting, sculpture, printing techniques, ceramics, theatre and tapestry.
The Tapies foundation
93 487 0315
Created by the Catalan painter Antoni Tapies in 1984 to promote the study and understanding of modern art and culture, you will find works from all periods of his artistic development. Appreciate the beautiful library devoted to modern literature and documentation on the art and artists of our century. The foundation is housed in a building by the modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. The roof terrace alone is worth a visit.
Catalan National Art Museum (MNAC)
93 622 0360
The National Art Museum of Catalonia is probably the jewel in the crown of Catalan art and culture. This incredible museum is beautifully located in the Palau Nacional on Montjuic, and was originally built for the 1929 World's Fair and was rejuvenated for the 1992 Olympics. The permanent collection includes Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque pieces, 19th and 20th century art, coinage, medals, photography as well as the collection Thyssen-Bornemisza, which were moved from the Monastery of Pedralbes to allow easier access for the public. During the summer there are frequent concerts both outside the museum and within the halls, and another attraction is the magical fountain which combines water, light and music to fine effect in light shows on certain evenings from Spring through Autumn.
Barcelona Centre of Contemporary Culture (CCCB)
The CCCB is the 8th most popular of all the museums in Barcelona and has regular exhibitions of widely varying artworks including photos paintings sculptures and frescos from around the World and from different periods. The museum is constantly arranging different exhibitions each term so the best way to see what is showing at the time is to visit their web site www.cccb.org
Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, or MACBA is nicely located in the Plaça dels Angels in the Raval barrio of the city. Designed by Richard Meier, this museum opened in 1995 to the public, and contains a permanent collection of Catalan, Spanish and other European contemporary art, but it is more than a museum, it has become a central part of Barcelona's rich cultural life. The permanent collection is rotated but contains work by international artists like Klee and Calder alongside national artists like Tàpies, Barceló and Solano, and there are frequent concerts, seminars, film exhibitions and new exhibitions in a constantly changing calendar. The collection dates from the late 20th century onward, with three periods of modern art represented: the forties to the sixties; the sixties and seventies; and contemporary. The collections focus on post-1945 Catalan and Spanish art, although some foreign art is also represented. The large building has much of the southern elevation glazed, allowing visitors to have a clear view of the plaza, and filling with hall with natural light. Opposite the main museum stands the medieval Convent dels Àngels, which includes a chapel converted into a separate exposition area known as Capella del Macba, with regular video art performances.
Archaeological Museum Of Barcelona
Pg Santa Madrona, 39-41
Designed by Pelagi Martínez I Patricio, the Archaeological Museum Of Barcelona And Institute Of Prehistory And Archaeology includes prehistoric artefacts and works of art from Ancient Rome and Greece, and is famous for the Greek statue of Asclepius from the 3rd century BCE. Exhibits include a scale model of a part of the excavation at Ampurias (Emporiae) and displays of Greek vases, glass, and sculpture. The curators have given particular emphasis on the archaeological remains from Catalunya, a very specialized area not covered by the other museums in Barcelona.
93 219 3811
Gaudí spent much of his life (1906-1926) with his niece in this unusual fairytale-style house, which has become one of the citys most distinctive museums. The building was designed by Francesc Berenguer, and it's spartan style suited the great artist's uncluttered way of life. Within, you can see some of his personal objects and work, including sketches, drawings, designs and furniture. Outside, you can wander the gardens and view the sculptures and walk the route with his famous organic-looking parabolic arches, designed by the artist himself. And all this within Parc Guell, which is something of an artistic masterpiece and features many of his own work as well as those of many other contemporary artists with whom he collaborated. The Park is an ideal place to have a picnic, with its wide open spaces and commanding view of the city.
Palau de la Música Catalana
Sant Francesc de Paula 2
93 268 1000
Considered by many to the be the culminating work of the Catalan Modernism movement, and declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, this magnificent concert hall was designed by Lluis Domenech I Montaner in 1908. Although there are guided tours, which are very good value, the hall's primary purpose continues to be as a venue for internationally renowned classical concerts. It always plays a significant part of many of the city's numerous music festivals, and leading jazz performers also grace the stage.
If you can't attend a concert, take a tour of the hall, offered daily at 10:30, 2, and 3 (in English)
The Barbier-Mueller Museum of Pre-Columbian Art
Located in a Gothic palace across from the Picasso Museum, this is the only museum in Europe that is currently devoted to Pre-Columbian cultures, and contains one of the finest collections of its kind, giving a rare insight into what made up the rich tapestry of the earliest cultures on the American continent. There are over 100 pieces on display in this intimate little museum, from wood and stone sculptures, jade ornamentation, tapestries, and ceramics, focused on the humans who dwelt in the territories between South and Meso-America, prior to the arrival of the first Europeans. Cultures represented here include the Aztec, Maya, Inca and Olmec.
Barcelona City History Museum
Scattered across the city are venues which make up The City History Museum: the Monumental Ensemble of the Plaça del Rei, the Museum-Monastery of Pedralbes, the Verdaguer Museum-House, and the Centre for Interpretation in Parc Güell. Of these, the most interesting are the Monumental Ensemble and the Monastery of Pedralbes.
Located in the Palau Comtal, near the Cathedral in the Gothic Quarter, it has an impressive collection set out chronologically. These include archaeological objects from the Roman period to more modern items such as the actual bomb responsible for partly destroying the Liceu Theatre in 1893. Situated in the upper part of the city, is the second venue, the Monstery of Pedralbes. The monastery building itself is worth the journey , not to mention the art works inside, which are a collection of different artefacts & paintings related to the monastery and the life of the nuns that lived in there over the centuries.
The Villa Joana, which has been converted into a museum for the Catalan poet Jacint Verdaguer, is situated in the northwest outskirts of Barcelona in the district of Vallvidrera at the southern foot of Mt Tibidabo. Originally a manor house, parts of it date back to the middle ages, and it was where the poet died. His rooms remain virtually unaltered, displaying original manuscripts as well as contemporary paintings and drawings. The Center for Interpretation to Park Güelllis an information and welcoming point for visitors to the Park, with access to the porter's lodge. There are maps, models, photographs, and audiovisuals, which analyse the park project in detail.
CosmoCaixa: Science Museum
C Teodor Roviralta, 47-51
93 212 6050
The CosmoCaixa Science Museum opened in 2005 and has been voted one of the best science museums in Europe, thanks in part to its unique design and the innovative exhibits spread out over an area of 50,000m2. With an enormous variety of content on offer distributed throughout the innovative layout, it includes the impressive Amazon Forest, Geological Wall and Planetarium exhibits. Visitors are invited to interact with many of the scientific experiments, ensuring the experience is rich and entertaining, and the museum is very popular with younger visitors, bringing as it does Science to life.
Museu Marìtim - Maritime Museum
Av. de les Drassanes
Located at the bottom of Las Ramblas in beautiful gothic building, the Maritime Museum houses a unique and extensive collection of treasures from and of the sea, including ancient maps and charts, model ships and nautical instruments. There is also a virtual reality experience, Sea Adventure, which allows visitors to live life as a galley slave on the Don Juan of Austria, as a sailor aboard a corvette bound for Cuba in a storm, or to be in the first submarine in history. This is a must see for all boat lovers.
Catalunya History Museum
Pl. de Pau Vila, 3 (Palau de Mar)
Tracing the history of Catalunya from palaeolithic times to the present may seem a huge task, but this incredible museum has managed to do it. With an array of impressive archaeological material from prehistoric times, through the bronze age, the ibers, romans, etc. Catalunya is revealed as an ever changing, important Mediterranean hub, with links to many other cultures.
The Dalí Museum - In Figueres
Although it is not actually in Barcelona, The Dalí Museum in Figueres is one of the most interesting, and most poular, museums in Northern Spain. A train will take you there in an hour and fifteen minutes, and the museum is a short walk from the station, well signposted along the way. The museum holds one of the largest collections of his work, and is a work of art in itself.
Rey de la Magia – Museu de la Màgia
C Oli, 6
93 319 7393
Founded in 1881, this is one of the oldest establishments in the world dedicated solely to the arts of the Illusionist. The museum features displays, tricks and posters, and offers shows for children every Saturday at 6pm and Sundays at noon. There are also courses provided for budding magicians on Thursday evenings from 6-8pm. More info on: www.elreydelamagia.com
Museu del Temple Expiatori de La Sagrada Familia
Calle Mallorca 401
No single man has had such a far reaching impact on Barcelona as Antoni Gaudi, even today work continues on his masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia. Located within the great cathedral is a museum dedicated to its host, tracing the project from its beginning in 1882 to its anticipated completion some thirty years from now. Watch stone masons carving stones to be used on the building, and learn more about Gaudi himself.
Stroll up Passeig de Gracia from Plaça Catalunya and you'll come across some of Gaudi's work mixed in with the other buildings, most impressive of which is La Pedrera. The building itself is the most important piece in the museum, a devastatingly unusual apartment building whose irregular walls deterred prospective tenants when it first opened. Today it houses a collection of renaissance drawings and modern art paintings, and often hosts small classical music performances on the roof on summer evenings.
Museu Futbol Club Barcelona - Camp Nou
FC Barcelona museum is one of the most visited museums in Barcelona, with sporting artefacts from the club dating back 100 years. There are two types of admission fee. The first allows access to the museum and the pitch area, the second, for an extra four Euro, gives you a guided tour of the changing rooms, press rooms, VIP lounge, and you can actually see the pitch at ground level.
Frederic Mares Museum
Plaça St Lu, 5-6.
93 310 5800
Frederic Marès, who founded this museum, was an important Catalan sculptor and collector, as well as an historian and teacher. He gathered, amongst other things, one of the most important collections of Hispanic sculpture from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries. The lower levels are of mostly religious artefacts, but the upper floors are a revelation. Marès was obviously a fervent, if eclectic, collector, and his museum has room after room of assorted memorabilia: clocks, bicycles, watches, photographs, dolls, keys, and much more. The building itself is beautiful, and has a wonderful shaded interior courtyard where you can sit back and relax awhile.
Modern Art Museum
The Modern Art Museum contains exhibits that date back to the romantic period, and has many conventional themes in the older sections. However, it also has an interesting selection of furniture, sculpture and paintings from the Art Nouveau movement, as well as from the Expressionist period. Upstairs, there is a collection of wicked caricatures in the graphic section, and a Contemporary Art section featuring works by Miró and Dalí.
Museum of Natural Science
Ciutadella Park (Parc de la Ciutadell)
Formed when the Zoology and Geology museums merged, the Museum of Natural Science has a permanent collection with an abundance of exhibits of beetles and vertebrates from the Iberian Peninsula, as well as fossils, rocks and minerals from the Cervelló and Vidal colletions.
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