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MNAC is a museum in Barcelona that takes you to a journey through 1,000 years of Catalan art, spanning the 11th to the 20th centuries, including the best collection of Catalan Modernism.
The staggering collection of MNAC spans 1,000 years of Catalan art, taking you on a journey from the 11th to the 20th century. From Romanesque frescoes to the best of Catalan Modernism, there’s something for everyone in this magnificent art museum. Perched atop the Montjuïc hill, overlooking the Magic Fountain, el Palau Nacional looks like the perfect setting for a fairytale. It is, in fact, home to el Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), one of the biggest museums in Spain with over 260,000 pieces of artwork. Considered an important symbol of Catalan identity, the National Art Museum of Catalonia is “one museum, a thousand years of art”. Spend the day visiting the Gothic collection with its focus on altarpieces, sculptures and parchments. Linger in the Renaissance and Baroque area, with works by old masters such as el Greco, Tiziano, Goya and Velazquez. Investigate the beginnings of photography or study a coin collection dating back as far as the 6th century BC.
The main highlight is, however, without a doubt the collection of twentyone Romanesque mural paintings that were rescued from crumbling churches scattered throughout the nearby Pyrenee mountains. Used to provide religious teachings for medieval villagers, the frescoes are considered an important piece of cultural heritage and a symbol of Catalonia. Don’t miss Christ in Majesty from the 12th century Church of Sant Climent de Taüll.
Another must-see is the Modern Art collection, which features a wide range of styles from the 19th and 20th centuries, most notably Catalan Modernism. The new display opened in 2014 and seeks to portray the social, historic and artistic context of the era. You can view remarkable artworks by the likes of Casas, Gaudi, Picasso and Miro.
Once your artistic appetite is fulfilled, you can head to the museum’s restaurant on the rooftop terrrace, to enjoy amazing dishes of Catalan cuisine together with the awe-inspiring views of Barcelona. To complete the day, take a stroll through the glorious gardens of Montjuïc park.