Sunday, December 9, 2007

An Introduction to the Barcelona City History Museum

For only 5 euros it is possible to visit the excellent Barcelona City History Museum (Museo de la Historia de la Ciudad / Museu d'Història de la Ciutat). In fact, the museum is actually six different museums, which makes the admission price an incredible bargain -- less than a euro a museum! The six museums that the one ticket admits you to are:

1. The Monumental Ensemble of King's Plaza (Conjunto Monumental de La Plaza del Rey / Conjunt Monumental de la Plaça del Rei), located in the Gothic quarter at the corner of Pl. del Rei and c/ del Verguer.

2. The Saint Catherine Archaeologiacal Interpretation Site (Espacio Arqueológico de Interpretación de Santa Caterina / Espai Arqueològic d'Interpretació de Santa Caterina), located in the Saint Catherine Public Market on Pl. Joan Capri, which is just a few blocks from Pl. del Rei.

3. Air Raid Shelter 307 - Historical Interpretation Center (Refugio Antiaéreo 307 - Centro de Interpretación Historico / Refugi Antiaeri 307 - Centre d'Interpretación Històrica), dating from the Spanish Civil War and located at Nou de las Ramblas 169 at the base of Montjuic Hill.

4. The Park Güell Interpretation Center (Centro de Interpretación del Parque Güell / Cebtre d'Interpretacío del Park Güell), located in a pavilion at the entrance to the Gaudí designed Park Güell on c/ Olot.

5. Museum-Monastery of Pedralbes (Museo-Monasterio de Pedralbes / Museu-Monestir de Pedralbes), located at Baixada del Monestir 9, in the Northwestern corner of the city.

6. The Verdaguer Museum-House (Museo-Casa Verdaguer / Museu-Casa Verdaguer), located at Carreterra de l'Església 104 in the Collserola Natural Woodland Park in the hills in the North of the city.

The museum was established in 1943. Originally it consisted mostly of the archaeological site at Pl. del Rei and a collection of items that had been displayed at the 1929 World's Fair City of Barcelona Pavilion. Over the years its collection has increased through donations, bequests, acquisitions and discoveries from various archaeological excavations. Today the collection is so large that it cannot be shown in its entirety. It is made up of items dating from from the Neolithic age to today and includes:

  • gold and silver work, stone objects, glass objects, stone and marble sculptures, coins, buttons, medals, objects from trade guilds, cloth, fans, sculptures, carvings, educational objects, models, tools, weapons, municipal symbols, measuring devices, architectural material, furniture, small decorative and commemorative objects, etc. ;
  • pottery (bowls, oil containers, jars, water jugs, pitchers, amphorae, etc.);
  • Roman portraits, mosaics, tombstones, milestones, etc., mainly from excavations carried out in the Roman city walls;
  • Roman and Hebrew epigraphs;
  • Gothic altarpieces, paintings, wall-paintings, drawings, engravings, etc.
  • books, documents, letters, etc., written in languages such as Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish and Catalan;

In the coming months, I will write posts about the museums in this amazing system that I have had the pleasure of visiting.

Hasta entonces amig@s,


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