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Maritime Museum (Museu Maritim)

This fascinating exploration of Barcelona’s maritime heritage is currently undergoing refurbishment but it’s still worth a quick look.

Barcelona was one of the Mediterranean’s most important ports during the 18th and 19th centuries, and this portside museum gives a fascinating overview of the city’s maritime heritage.

The building that houses the collection is itself of great historic interest. The 14th-century Royal Dockyards are some of the most complete medieval dockyards in the world as well as some of the grandest, with soaring Gothic-style arches and massive wooden beams. The dockyards were originally used by the navy to store ships and other equipment, which accounts for their vast size.

One of the ships that would have been built in the original docks is replicated in the museum and has become one of its most popular exhibits. Walking around the life-size replica allows you to admire at close quarters the workmanship and imagination that went into its pioneering design and ambitious construction. Another much-admired item in the collection is an atlas of the world dating from the 14th century. Many other interesting exhibits trace the maritime heritage of Spain with a particular focus on the history of the port of Barcelona.

The museum is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment so access to some parts of the collection is restricted, although the programme of temporary exhibitions usually offers something of interest all year round. Don’t let the restrictions put you off taking a quick look inside this fascinating building. A reduced entrance fee applies for the duration of the renovation period, and on Sundays after 3 p.m. entry to temporary exhibitions is free.

The Maritime Museum is open every day apart from a few days over Christmas and January. Full details of opening times can be found on the website.


Guide to Exploring Maritime Museum


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