Five Best Museums In Barcelona
Make your trip to Barcelona Historic
Learn history of Barcelona through its historic museums
1. Fundació Joan Miró Museum
Opening Hours: Tue to Sat 10.00-19.00 (Oct-June), 10.00-20.00 (July-Sep), Thursday 10.00-21.30, Sunday and public holidays 10.00-14.30, Mondays (except public holidays) Closed.
Fundació Joan Miró Museum is one of the famous museums in Spain and artistic works of Fundació Joan Miró are exhibited here. Fundació Joan Miró was born on 20 April, 1893. He came out with his first solo exhibition in the year 1921 at Paris’ Galerie La Licorne. He died on Dec 25, 1983.
The museum is a present from him to the native City and showcases contemporary art of Barcelona spanning one century. The building was opened to the public in 1975 and it was designed by Josep Lluís Sert. Miro was epitome of style as is reflected in his colorful style with shade of Mediterranean humor.
The most famous among his collections are Alexander Calder’s mercury fountain along with pottery sculptures like Dona j ocell (1982), bronze sculpture Dona (1983) and tapestry Tarragona Tapestry (1970).
Visitors to the museum can have a glimpse of Miro’s collection which total 175 pieces of sculptures, 240 pieces of paintings, 4 ceramics and 9 textiles along with 8000 drawings and graphic works. Though most of these have been donated by Miro, other contributors include his wife and other artists such as Pierre Matisse, Francesc Farreras, Manuel de Muga, Marguerite, Josep Lluís Sert, and Aimé Maeght.
His collection includes The pedicure 1901, Composition (Street in Pedralbes) 1917, Portrait of a Young Girl 1919, Chapel of Sant Joan d’Horta 1917, Collage-drawing 1933, Morning Star 1940, Double-sided Stele 1956, Self-Portrait 1937/38-1960, The Foundation Tapestry 1979.
The museum holds Temporary exhibitions, its own exhibition named Espai 13 and a travelling exhibition. It also conducts seminars, musical evenings, activities for children, educational activities, Pensar l’art d’avui (Thinking Today’s Art) and weekend guided tours.
2. Museu d’Història de Catalunya (Museum of the History of Catalonia)
Opening Hours: Tue to Sat from 10 am to 7 pm, Wed from 10 am to 8 pm, Sun and public holidays from 10 am to 2.30 pm, Mondays closed (except public holidays)
The Museum of the History of Catalonia exhibits social, cultural, political and economical evolution and history of Catalonia from very ancient times till the last century. Opened for public in 1996, the Museum is constantly crowded by university students, schoolchildren, historians, local populace and foreign tourists due to promotion of activities which are related to Catalan history associated with various themes and periods.
The museum is located where a huge 19th century warehouse stands. It is divided in eight sections in the form of permanent exhibitions. «The Roots», «Our Sea» and Birth of a Nation,» depict Catalonia’s ancient ancestors, Aragonese-Catalan sea trade and the flourishing Roman period. «On the Periphery of an Empire,» «Steam and Nation» and «Bases of the Revolution» depict decline of Catalonia under Habsburg rule along with cultural and economic recovery during the industrial age.
«The Electric Years» along with «Defeat and Recovery» tell about 20th century, Spanish Civil War, effect of Franco’s dictatorship on Catalonia and holding of first ever democratic elections after Franco’s death.
The museum holds temporary exhibitions on various topics which had included some excellent exhibits on Mediterranean cultures along with relationship between poet Federico García Lorca and Salvador Dalí. It also conducts virtual tour around various rooms of the Museum, from ancient times to the September 1714.
Along with touring exhibitions, the museum presents research material for students and research scholars through its various publications housed in library. It has a bookshop that sells varied books and gift items narrating history of Catalonia. The museum’s café, La Miranda del museu, provides delicious food and an enchanting view of the nearby port.
Point to note is that admission is free on the first Sunday of every month.
3. Figueres Dali Theatre Museum
Opening Hours: 1 Nov-28 Feb: 10:30 am-6 pm, 1 March-30 June: 9:30 am-6 pm, 1 July-30 Sep: 9 am-8 pm, 1 Oct-30 Oct: 9:30 am-6 pm. Closed on: Jan 1 and Dec 25, every Mon between 1 Oct and 31 May, except on holidays, holiday eves and 24 Dec.
The Dalí Theatre-Museum is a tribute to a Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech who was a Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, Catalonia. Dalí was best known for the striking images in his surrealist work. His skills were influenced by Renaissance masters. His best known work was The Persistence of Memory which was completed in 1931.
The museum is housed in the building where a Municipal Theatre of 19th century stood. Opened to public in 1974, it has wide range of works of Dalí spanning his carrier and include his outstanding paintings such as 1910 Landscape Near Figueras, 1916 Fiesta in Figueras (begun 1914), 1921 The Garden of Llaner (Cadaqués) and Self-portrait, 1930 L’Âge d’Or (The Golden Age) film in collaboration with Luis Buñuel, 1941 Honey is Sweeter than Blood, 1951 Christ of St. John of the Cross and Exploding Raphaelesque Head, Apotheosis of the Dollar 1965 and Dawn, Noon, Afternoon and Evening (1979).
The connoisseurs of art and paintings can see works that Dali created especially for the Museum in various rooms, like Mae West Room, Monument to Francesc Pujols and Wind Palace Room. It also includes works of other artists such as El Greco, Modest Urgell, Marià Fortuny, Ernest Meissonier, Wolf Vostell, Marcel Duchamp and Antoni Pitxot.
The museum has 1500 works of arts which includes drawing, painting, sculpture, installations, photography etc. The theatre covers three spaces, the main theatre museum, group of rooms and the gallery «Dalí·Jewels», which includes collections of gold set of gems of old Owen Cheatham, 37 in number.
The Dalí Theatre-Museum conducts temporary exhibitions, virtual visits and «Dali by Night» shows.
4. Museu Marítim (Maritime Museum)
Opening Hours: Mon to Sun (10:00 a.m.and 8:00 p.m.)
Museu Maritim is one among the special museums in Barcelona covering one century (1750-1850). It includes all types of maritime artifacts in and around Barcelona. The museum’s history dates back to 1378 when King Pere IV signed an agreement to construct royal shipyards. It is a construction marvel of Catalan with Gothic architecture. The main attraction is a statue in Christopher Columbus’ honour named Colonand Port Vell, a picturesque walk to the marina.
The museum houses collections of ship models, steamships, models of shipyard, models from nautical schools, half-hull models along with model of ships used by Spanish Royal Armada. The maritime museum has a wide range of navigation instrument collection from all ages, viz, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and include marine chronometer, long distance glasses, sextants and octants.
The museum has a huge collection of ex-votos of mariners in the form of painted pictures depicting accidents, shipwrecks, etc., along with name of the divine being. The museum also has painting collection which include works by famous painters such as M. Urgell, J. Llaverias and R. Martí Alsina among others along with portraits of ships and vessels. The museum also has figurehead collection which are mainly of Catalan sailboats of 19th century along with «Negre de la Riba» (Black man of Riba), figure of warrior from North America.
The museum has collection of 11 nautical charts along with various atlases produced during 15-17th centuries and other cartographic collection numbering about 2000, signifying nautical history of medieval Spain.
The royal galley of Juan de Austria showcases replica of the vessel Juan de Austria which took part in battle of Lepanto on 7 October 1571.
Santa Eulàlia, a schooner, is another attraction at the museum and has been named after patron saint of Barcelona. The museum also has a shop and a restaurant.
5. Museu Picasso (Picasso Museum)
Opening Hours: Tue to Sun:10 am to 8 pm, Closed on working Mondays
The Museu Picasso has one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. This is one of the most popular and most visited museums in Barcelona. The museum is housed in five medieval palaces in Barcelona’s Barri Gotic. There are nearly 3,500 works making up permanent collection of the museum.
The Picasso museum was inaugurated in March 9, 1963 in Aguilar Gothic palace. Later Palau del Baró de Balaguer, Palau Meca, Casa Mauri and Palau Finestres palaces also became part of the museum.
The collection at the museum include Malaga, which depicts his life from 1881-1890, Corunna, 1891-1895, Barcelona 1895-1897 and many other.
The permanent collections include paintings and drawing, engravings and ceramics. The paintings include two school days important oil paintings, Science and Charity in 1897 and First Communion (1896) along with Margot and the Dwarf Dancer, 1901. Other paintings include Le Fol (The Madman), The Tragedy (1903) as well as Portrait of Señora Canals. The Ceramics Museum has a series of 16 articles donated by Picasso in 1957, which depict 20th century style.
The museum’s public areas including assembly halls can be hired for private functions and private visits also can be arranged to the exhibition rooms. The museum conducts free guided tours. The museum library has specialized materials of Picasso, though access to it is restricted. Visitors can buy Picasso memorabilia at the museum shop which include books, posters, T-shirts, jewelry, handkerchiefs and motifs.
The museum has a café-restaurant with open-air terrace on the ground floor.