The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, also known as the MNAC, is the national museum of Catalan Art. It is one of Barcelona’s most important museums and has an extensive collection of artworks from Catalonia and beyond.
The MNAC started out as two separate museums, the museum of antiquities and the museum of fine arts. These were both opened in order to conserve Catalonia’s art heritage. In 1934 a project to bring these two museums together was launched. Thus the Museu d’Art de Catalunya came about. It was housed in the Palau Nacional, an Italian Style building that was constructed in 1929 for the International Exhibition. In 1990, the museum was declared a National Museum. In the years that followed, a lot of renovation work was done to the building. Various collections were installed. On December the 16th 2004, the museum was officially inaugurated.
In MNAC you can find many different art styles. The collections show Catalonia’s art history from medieval times all through to the 20th century. From Romanesque to Gothic art and from Renaissance to Baroque to modern art. There are many paintings but also several sculptures and even modernist interior decorative art created by Antoni Gaudí. And apart from all the artworks on display, there is the building itself. The immense oval hall in the middle is impressive and there is a beautiful dome with paintings by artists of the Catalan Noucentista movement. Underneath the dome you can admire the mural made by Joan Miró the potter Joan Gardy Artigas.
When we visited the MNAC we were delighted to see this beautiful palace from the inside and even more so when we saw the fantastic collections. There is so much to see that we have to return some day soon and continue our journey through Catalonia’s art history. If you are interested in art, the MNAC should definitely be on your list of things to do!
To visit MNAC:
Address: Palau Nacional, Parc de Montjuïc, s/n, 08038 Barcelona
Opening hours: October to April, Tuesday to Saturday from 10AM to 6PM, Sundays from 10AM to 3PM
May to September, Tuesday to Saturday from 10AM to 8PM, Sundays from 10AM to 3PM
Entrance fee: 12 euro (valid for two days!), free entrance after 3PM every Saturday
How to get there: Metro L1 and L3, Pl. Espanya