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Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC, ‘National Art Museum of Catalonia’) is a Museum in Barcelona devoted to the portrayal of all kinds of art from Catalonia . The artifacts are divided into different collections: Medieval Romanesque Art, Medieval Gothic Art; Renaissance and Baroque art, Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection of contemporary art; Modern art, and an extended collection of drawings; painting, sculpture; prints, posters; photography, numismatics . The eclectic mix offers an overview of the local talent through hundreds of years of notable works, ranging from anonymous medieval artisans to famous artists worldwide, well-known from the 20th century, and allows the visitors to choose their own specific tours according to their personal interest and available time.
The museum is located in a building known as ‘National Palace’, sat on a prominent elevated spot in Montjuïc Hill, from where the views downhill to the city of Barcelona are overwhelming – from the nearby Placa Espanya to the distant Tibidabo Mountain -, both from the Terrace in front of the museum as from the rooftop's viewpoint. The building follows an academic classicist style and was constructed as part of the complex to host the 1929 International Exhibition. It has been used as the site of the museum since 1934, in an ever-growing collection and permanent improvement of the facilities. The massive building, of around 50,000m² has a very iconic appearance from the outside, not only for its fantastic location, with Italian-inspired domes and structures. The interior has been recently refurbished with a contemporary style to allow modern use; the huge central space (named ‘Sala Oval’) is the most spectacular space, with curvilinear walls creating a unique atmosphere under the main dome with zenithal natural light.
CollectionsCombining a permanent collection with temporal exhibitions (always with a modern approach to museography), the highlights of any visit should be the Romanesque Medieval Art collections – one of the best in this field in the world -, specially the paintings taken from the Pyrenees' churches. Dating from the 11th to 13th centuries, this exceptional set of Romanesque artifacts is a unique collection of panel painting, metalwork, sculptures in wood and metal. The most emblematic piece is the fresco painting of the Apse of Sant Climent de Taull, one of the finest and most representative Romanesque Art pieces in the world, with a Christ of the Day of Judgement painted with exceptional intensity; this powerful set of paintings fascinated avant-garde artists like Picasso!
The Medieval Gothic Art collection, from 13th to 15th centuries, also includes a prominence of liturgical works of Christian art, with special attention to the altar pieces and sculptures.
Another collection worth a visit in any tour is the Modern Art collection, with a new display comprising a wide range of art from the 19th and 20th centuries, from Neoclassicism to Avant-gardes, in painting, poster art; architecture, photography; and decorative arts. There are artworks by artists like Antoni Gaudi ; Jujol, Pablo Picasso ; Pablo Gargallo, Santiago Rusinol; Isidre Nonell; and Casas. The display includes all kinds of artistic productions always linked to the international trends and their connections with artists and movements of Catalonia and Barcelona.
The museum, besides the numerous exhibition halls – it can be really difficult to explore everything in a single visit!-, also offers extra services for visitors: space for kids to learn; like playgrounds and workshops, areas for research and self-learning, a curated shop to buy souvenirs (with a big range of art books, artifacts, design objects, museum specific materials), the Òleum Restaurant (situated in the old ‘Saló del Tron’, ‘Throne room’), and a café with a nice outdoor terrace and a diversity of spaces available to rent for events.
How to Get to MNAC and General InformationThe museum is easy to reach by many means, with a Tourist Bus (Bus Turistic) stop nearby, while the most popular way is the short walk uphill (with escalators) through the monumental fountains from Placa Espanya - which is served by Subways lines L1 and L3, FGC L8, R5, R6, R50, and multiple bus lines.
Opening times from 10 a0 feet to 6 p0 feet, extended to 8 p0 feet in summer, and closed earlier at 3 p0 feet on Sundays, and closed all day on Mondays. General admission is €12 ($14), but there are some price reductions for kids, elderly, and special groups.
All details can be checked at the museum's website, offering all the practical information and a complete overview of the current exhibitions, the collection and the building's history.
Also in Montjuic HillThe visit can be combined with many other attractions in the area: the evening's 'Magic fountain' light-and-music show between the museum and Placa Espanya, the Joan Miro museum and the Caixa Forum for more interesting art experiences; the Mies Van der Rohe pavilion (also built in 1929, but in a completely contemporary style), the historic castle on top of the hill for an extra view of the port; the Olympic area for the 1992 Summer Olympic Games held in Barcelona, and the interesting Botanical Garden. Overall, the Montjuïc Park is considered the green lung of central Barcelona dotted with culture and events, with multiple paths to discover by walk or bicycle.
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Author: JOANBCN. Last updated: Feb 28, 2015