Archaeology Museum of Catalonia

I’ll admit that as a schoolkid you’d have had to drag me kicking and screaming to something like the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia. These days I go “oooh, I’m learning something!”

Do you know what a pontil is? I didn’t until today.

What you get here is a collection that spans Catalan history from pre-history up until around the 19thCentury. There are some highlights depending on your interests. Phoenecian and Greek ceramics do it for me. But whatever floats your boat about Mediterranean antiquity, you’re likely to find it here.

Some of it is also what sinks your boat. A beautifully-curated exhibition, “Shipwrecks: Submerged History” was a highlight when I visited in May 2023. It’s supposed to be a temporary exhibition, but I can’t find an end-date advertised.

“Shipwrecks: Submerged History” exhibit

The collection is housed in a building erected for the 1929 International Exposition. It is in a slightly out-of-the-way location near the foot of Montjuïc. But this makes it an excellent place to stop if you’re heading to any of the other attractions in the area.

(CaixaForumFundació Joan MiróMuseu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), the Mies van der Rohe pavilion, the Jardí Botànic de Barcelona, the Jardins de Joan Maragall, and the Jardí Botànic Històric are all in the vicinity.)

Some exhibits are very close to home. Some Roman artifacts were carved from Montjuïc sandstone, quarried from what is now the Historic Botanic gardens.

Roman sarcophagus

This is a great museum for anyone interested in the human history of Catalonia. If you like having a museum to yourself this is a good option, though I can’t guarantee you won’t encounter a school group. Potentially kicking and screaming. Still, the staff seemed pretty excited to see us.

Ticket prices include entry to a range of archaeological sites around Catalonia, if you’re planning any trips to the countryside and want to see more.

Web also Here

Museu Picasso de Barcelona

Housed in five adjoining palaces in the old town, the Museu Picasso would be worth visiting for the architecture alone, let alone the more than 4,000 works in its permanent collection. Be aware that this is probably the busiest gallery in Barcelona – book online in advance to avoid the queues, and be prepared to view the works in the close company of a lot of tourists who are merely checking a box by being here.

If you buy the Barcelona Museum Pass or Art Passport, you’ll gain priority entry, as well as to Fundació Joan Miró, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), Fundació Antoni Tàpies, and Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA).


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Mercat del Born

More of a museum than a market, El Born CCM is still a fascinating visit

Don’t come here looking for fresh produce! Where most Barcelona residents enjoy the benefits of a neighbourhood market, Mercat del Born is now an archaeological site.

The discovery of ruins of the 1700s town were uncovered during a renovation of the fabulous cast iron structure from the late 1800s. The structure, designed by Antoni Rovira I Trias, is now used as the El Born Cultural and Memorial Centre with the ruins on display.

It’s free to enter and actually quite interesting – there’s even a decent bookstore and a café – or you could opt for the daily guided tour that takes you down into the old streets.

Roman ruins at the El Born CCM


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