Barcelona - Montjuic - “Jewish Mountain”

SEP 23,2016 - SEP 23,2016 (1 DAYS)

Citywalk

Tip 1 Main Attractions: Miró Foundation, Jardins de Laribal, Museu Olímpic i de l'Esport Joan Antoni Samaranch, Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, Jardins de Joan Maragall, Jardín de Aclimatacion, Anella Olímpica (Olympic Ring), Open Camp, Palau Sant Jordi, Torre Calatrava, Ferrer i Guardia Monument.

See Tip 2 below for: Poble Espanyol and Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

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Introduction: Montjuic is a prominent hill overlooking the Barcelona harbour. For ages, it played a strategic part in the defense of the city and it’s one of the city’s natural elevations. Nowadays, there are so many things to do in Montjuic you just can’t miss it  on your trip to Barcelona. Many of the attractions here were constructed in order to celebrate the 1929 International Exhibition, however it is believed that before it was turned into the big park of today, there was a Jewish cemetery somewhere around the mountain, therefore earning the name of Montjuic, meaning “jew mountain” in Catalan.

Whole day (Tip 1 + Tip 2) Distance: 7 km. Note: our daily itinerary DOES NOT include the Montjuic Castle !

Public Transport:  Take Metro lines 2 (Purple Line) and 3 (Green Line) to Parallel. From there, pick up the Funicular train to Castell de Montjuic. The Funicular is a smaller train running every 10 mins or so from Parallel to Montjuic and back. The ride itself only takes 2 minutes and the journey is included as part of a Metro ride. Another way is by Cable Car (the fun one!)
Right next to the funicular Station, lies the Montjuic’s Cable Car. This ride takes you directly to the castle of Montjuic with photogenic views of Barcelona. Changing to the cable car - you do not have to exit the metro station - it connects directly to the cable car. This will leave you quite near the highest point too. The funicular of Barcelona (FM metro line) operates like a metro with two stops: Paral·lel, which links up with metro lines L2 and L3, and Parc de Montjuïc, located on the mountain, which links up with the cable car to reach the top of Montjuïc and access the castle. The funicular is part of the integrated fare system and the ticket is the same price as a trip by metro or bus. Montjuïc funicular operating hours: Autumn-Winter: MON - FRI: 7.30 - 20.00, SAT, SUN and public holidays: 9.00 - 20.00. Spring-Summer: MON - FRI: 7.30 - 22.00, SAT, SUN and public holidays: 9.00 - 22.00:

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Option number three, is taking regular bus #150 which also stops at the castle. Buy your ticket to Montjuic’s cable car stop. Fourth option: Barcelona’s Port Cable Car located in Barceloneta (Transbordador Aeri del Port). The journey lasts around ten minutes and it’s the fastest way to get to the mountain from Barceloneta Beach. The view of the seaport and Barceloneta from 70 meters high is priceless (see Tipter blog "Barcelona - Port Vell"). Option number 5:  you can take the Metro or bus to Plaça Espanya, walk Av. Maria Cristina and climb the stairs or take the automatic stairs to the MNAC museum, and keep walking up. It will be quite a long walk, but scenic and not difficult. Option number 6: you can also get to Avenida Miramar (on the Montjuic) by #50 bus which runs along Gran Via to Plaça Espanya. It passes Caixaforum, Poble Espanyol, Olympic Stadium and Miró Foundation on the way. Option number 7: there is a Hop on Hop off bus (22€-24€) that link all places of interest in the mountain, it may be a good option.

Our daily itinerary:  We turn LEFT as we exit the funicular station. Turning right as you leave the funicular station you walk along to Miramar.  There, from the extensive gardens of Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer Garden (these gardens located right next the funicular, are the perfect setting for enjoying a picnic or a stroll) and Jardins de Joan Brossa you can have the same sort of view as from the castle but from less altitude (and less of the commercial port is visible):

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...and, even, a distant view of the Sagrada Familia:

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The mountain opposite us, in the north is the Tibidabo. We walk along Avenida Miramar WESTWARD. On our right is the Gardi des Escultures  - a small garden with no views over Barcelona:

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After 350 m. walking westward along Avenida Miramar - we arrive to Joan Miró Foundation. Joan Miró museum is located just facing the Greek Theatre. The Fundació opened to the public on 10 June 1975. The Fundació Joan Miró was created by Miró himself, at first principally, with works from his own private collection. Other works are presents from his wife Pilar Juncosa, Joan Prats and Kazumasa Katsutas. The Fundació offers an overview of Joan Miró’s (a long-standing friend and contemporary of Picasso) art and life, and on the same time, creating an enriching dialogue with other artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. The Fundació organizes temporary exhibitions of 20th and 21st century artists, side by side, with Miró's creations. Miro is an artist who broke all the rules and developed a style uniquely his. So, the museum won't be every one's cup of tea. So, if you feel like visiting one of the world’s one of the most known abstract painters' paintings, you just have to cross the street. The museum is very well laid out. It is dedicated to the one and only Catalan artist Joan Miró, featuring works from every stage of his career. The Fundació Miró is any art lover’s paradise, however even if art 'isn’t your thing’ you may find that this surrealist museum / gallery is. We love the brightly coloured,naivety, minimalism of Joan Miro's work in his paintings and sculptures. Even the building itself has been designed to fit the surrealist environment. Miró’s works (paintings and and an amazing tapestry) are fun, bright and colourful and despite not being one for galleries, we personally enjoyed every minute of our visit – even when we got to witness Miró’s infamous paintings (or, better, 'anti paintings') and sculptures. Miró uses fantastic and distinctive colours in most of his coloured paintings. A real wander. One of the BEST museums in BCN. Allow, at least, 2-3 hours. Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - from November to March: 10.00 - 18.00, from April to October: 10.00 - 20.00. Thursday: 10.00 - 21.00, Saturday: 10.00 - 20.00. Sunday: 10.00 - 15.00. Monday: except public holidays - closed. Prices: adult - €12, concessions: €7. Temporary exhibitions: adult - €7, concessions: €5. If you get the Barcelona card it is included. Children up to 15 enter for free. Note: during the busy mid-summer weeks - you may wait about 30-50 minutes in the queue to get in -  so probably better to book in advance:

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Morning Star:

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Woman Dreaming Escape:

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Woman and Bird in Night:

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Woman and Bird in Sunrise:

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Barcelona Series:

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Diamond Smiles at Twilight:

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The Smile of the Tear:

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The Gold of the Azure:

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Figures in Burnt Forest - a picture Joan Miro devoted to his wife Pilar Juncosa le Miro:

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Young Girl:

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Mont Roig Village:

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Chapel of Sant Joan d'Horta:

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Tapestries:

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Lovers Playing with Almond Blossom:

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Self Portrait:

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Woman and Bird:

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Summer 1278 Figure

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Mercury Fountain by Alexander Calder:

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The Fundació is located in a building designed by Josep Lluís Sert, Miró's good friend and Le Corbusier's student. The Miró Museum is perched on a hill overlooking the city and housed in a beautiful building with a wonderful outdoor rooftop space with great views of the city with the bonus of wonderfully peaceful setting, The roof top has a few Miro's sculptures.  Josep Lluís Sert and Joan Miró were close friends. You can, easily, recognize the synergy of them. Both tended to harmonic forms and were playing with light, space and colours; besides that they combined their love to nature and Catalonia, which explains the architectural distinctiveness of the inner courtyard in the middle of the building, which all the rooms are  arranged around to. The clear and cubist shapes all in white make the museum building look light and flowing and make the rooms look larger. The bright patios and terraces create dynamic, transparency and a lot of natural light in the inside of the building. The building got the "Twenty-Five Year Award“ of the American Institute of Architects in 2002:

Moon, Sun and Star:

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Sculptures in the Museum Terrace:

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view to Plaça Espanya:

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Anthony Tapier - Wall Coat Rack:

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Max Ernst - Fishing at Down:

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Alexander Calder - El Corcoradro:

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Continuing approx. 40-50 m. further west along Avenida Miramar will bring us (on our right) to the Jardins de Laribal. These gardens extend from Miró Foundation to the Jardins del Teatre Grec. They cover a very steep area of the Montjuic. The gardens' designers used waterfalls and steps to cover these slopes. Charming and refreshing gardens. Wonderful, calm place, with lots of greenery, water ponds, stairs and porcelain accents, which all together create a really calm, unique atmosphere:

Cascada del Font del Gat:

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Font del Gat:

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Noia de la Trena - Josep Viladomat, 1928:

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MNAC from the gardens:

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Placa Espanya from the gardens:

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We ascend the stairs (avoid hot days !) from Jardins de Laribal leading to Passeig de Santa Madrona. As we get out from the gardens we continue west along Avenida Miramar which changes to Avinguda de l'Estadi. On our left is the Museu Olímpic i de l'Esport Joan Antoni Samaranch, Stadium Avenue, 60 (Next to the Olympic Stadium). The Museum will introduce the different facets of the sport, the Olympic spirit and values associated with its practice. Visitors can also see a permanent exhibition commemorating Olympic cities, from Barcelona 1992 to London 2012, and the first televised Olympic Games. Opening hours: From October to March: TUE - SAT: 10.00 - 18.00. SUN and public holidays: 10.00 -14.30. From April to October: TUE - SAT: 10.00 - 20.00, SUN and public holidays: 10.00 - 14.30. Closed: 1/1, 1/5, 25/12 and 26/12. Guided tours, café, restaurant and shop:

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Adjacent to the museum is the Olympic Stadium or Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys. Originally built in 1927 and designed by architect Pere Domènech i Rourafor for the 1929 International Exposition in the city. It was meant to host the People's Olympiad in 1936, a protest event against the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, but the event had to be cancelled due the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. It was renovated in 1989 to be the main stadium for the 1992 Summer Olympics. When the International Olympic Committee chose Barcelona to host the 1992 Olympic Games, a team of architects made up of Vittorio Gregotti, Frederic Correa, Alfons Milà, Joan Margarit and Carles Buxadé, was commissioned to completely refurbish the stadium. The stadium was partially demolished, preserving only the original facades, and new grandstands were built. In 1989 the venue was re-inaugurated for the World Cup in Athletics, and three years later it hosted the opening and closing ceremonies and the athletics competitions of the Olympic Games.The stadium has a capacity of 56,000 spectators.   In 2001 the stadium was renamed after the former president of the Generalitat de Catalunya Lluís Companys, who was executed at the nearby Montjuïc Castle in 1940 by the Franco regime. In 2010, the stadium hosted the 20th European Athletics Championships. The IAAF World Junior Championships took place in 2012. It is now rated as a five-star venue by UEFA, which entitles it to host top-level European matches. The Olympic Stadium is open in the summer, daily from 10.00 to 20.00 and in the winter, daily from 10.00 to 18.00. Admission to the Olympic Stadium is FREE:

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Opposite the stadium, on the north side of Avinguda de l'Estadi stands a monument devoted to  Hwang Young-cho a former South Korean athlete, winner of the marathon race at the Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics and 1994 Asian Games:

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From this monument, still on the north side of Avinguda de l'Estadi, extend the Jardins de Joan Maragall. These magnificent gardens are very rarely visited by the tourists and they are very aristocratic, well maintained and superbly laid-out. The Jardins de Joan Maragall are extremely elegant, with tree-lined avenues, broad expanses of grass, flowerbeds, ornamental fountains, numerous outdoor sculptures and the small Albeniz Palace that was, and still is, a royal residence. The gardens are open ONLY SAT-SUN: 10.00 - 15.00:

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Either side of this classical, French-style gardening are avenues of low  trimmed lime trees that highlight the delicate nature of the small hedges marking out spaces full of flowers:

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The old royal pavilion inside the gardens, known as the Palauet Albéniz and built in 1929, is a Neoclassical structure designed by the architect Joan Moya:

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A bit further west along Avinguda de l'Estadi, on the southern side of Avinguda de l'Estadi, we arrive to a very extensive area - the Anella Olímpica or the Olympic Ring, a large hilly space to the southwest of the city which overlooks Barcelona harbor. We start exploring this wonderful area from north to south. First, we hit the Jardín de Aclimatacion.  It is located between the Olympic Stadium and the Bernat Picornell Swimming Pools , and was created in 1930 by Nicolau Maria Rubió i Tudurí director of Parks and Gardens of Barcelona between 1917 and 1937. This garden houses around 230 species of plants, some of them unique or of scarce presence in the city:

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The Anti-Aids Campaign Tree in the garden:

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The Entrance to the Jardin d'Aclimatacion:

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It is free to walk around the highly-cemented Anella Olímpica (Olympic Ring) outside and admire the columns and the ‘river pathway’. Very relaxing atmosphere around. Great views, free to enter. Very clean and tidy.  This beautiful, huge court yard with fountains, yellow pillars, waterfalls, trees and flower-beds is simply stunning on a sunny day and well worth the walk up to and around it:

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Open Camp the first theme park in the world dedicated to sports, with carefully designed spaces that offer an unforgettable experience where sport and fun are guaranteed. You can participate in sporting events like archery, open jump, open hurdles and more, imagining that you were a part of the Olympic Games. This unique theme park offers the possibility of facing the simulator of your favorite sport. 25 sports are offered, each time a technology is simulating an action and then analyzes your performance. Opening hours: 11.00 to 18.00 (winter) or 20:00 (summer). Prices: 15€ to 20€:

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The Palau Sant Jordi which was design by the Japanese architect Arata Isozak. It was the venue for the gymnastics and volleyball competitions of the 1992 Games. Today, it hosts huge music concerts and other large-scale events. The maximum seating capacity of the arena is 16,670 for basketball, and 24,000 for musical events. It is the largest indoor arena in Spain:

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Alongside the Palau Sant Jordi is one of the city's two telecommunications towers, the Torre Calatrava, designed by architect Santiago Calatrava. 136 metres high, it was built between 1989 and 1992 and, according to its creator, depicts the body of an athlete bending down to receive a medal.  Its base is covered in broken mosaic trencadís tiles, in clear reference to one of the techniques used by Gaudí. The orientation of the tower means that the shadow of the central needle projected on to the adjacent Plaça d'Europe acts as a sundial:

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The other major facilities consist of: the National Physical Education Institute (INEFC) (Institut Nacional d'Educació Física de Catalunya) which includes a library with 26,000 titles and various sports facilities covered and outdoors. During the Olympic Games of Barcelona 92 it hosted the competitions of free fight and Greco-Roman:

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Another facility is the Picornell swimming pools (Piscines Bernat Picornel):

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Here we choose either walking to the Poble Espanyol (900 m. and returning to the MNAC - another 1100 m.) or continuing direct to the MNAC (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Palau Nacional).

To the Poble Espanyol: We return (northward) to and head west along Avinguda de l'Estadi toward Carrer Jocs del 92, 550 m. Slight right to stay on Avinguda de l'Estadi, 70 m. At the intersection of Avinguda de l'Estadi and Av. dels Montanyans you see the Ferrer i Guardia Monument. This figure is a tribute to Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia (Alella, 1859 - Barcelona, ​​1909) founder of the Modern School. The sculpture symbolizes a naked man carrying a lit torch, a replica of the monument in Brussels, also dedicated to Ferrer i Guàrdia:

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At Plaça de Sant Jordi, take the 3rd exit onto Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia and walk 350 m. along Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia until you arrive to the Poble Espanyol. Here, we skip to Tip 2 below.

To the MNAC (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya Palau Nacional): We return (northward) to and head EAST along Avinguda de l'Estad, 85 m. Turn left toward Carrer del Mirador del Palau Nacional. Take the stairs, 160 m. Slight right at Av. dels Montanyans, 85 m. Turn left onto Carrer del Mirador del Palau Nacional, 15 m.

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Tip 2 Main AttractionsPoble Espanyol, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.

El Poble Espanyol was built for the 1929 International Exhibition in purpose  to concentrate the soul of Spain in a single space. It was intended that Poble Espanyol would be demolished when the 1929 International Exhibition was over, but it continued to function thanks to its great success and the good critical reviews it got. Today most of its constructions remain intact and are scale reproductions of buildings, squares and streets of different regions of Spain. It can be understood as a “Spain in Miniature”, as you can find replicas of the most famous Spanish monuments and landscapes. Its creators visited 1,600 towns and villages of the Iberian Peninsula and Southern Portugal to choose the buildings to be represented at Poble Espanyol.  Poble Espanyol is packed with life 365 days a year. Strolling through Poble Espanyol you’ll discover not only buildings, but also artisans you can watch live as they work, as well as viewing pieces of contemporary art by universal figures like Dalí, Picasso and Joan Miró (see below). Don't miss the new "Feeling Spain" audiovisual installations, which will take you on a virtual trip through the geography and the most authentic traditions of Spanish culture. There is a large array of shops, workshops, bars and restaurants open every day. Some artisans also have their stores here and it is well known around Barcelona for having the best artisans with glass and clay.  There are artisans producing leather, ceramics, jewellery and other articles for sale. You can enjoy family activities, shows, music, cuisine tastings in the open air in unbeatable surroundings. 1.300.000 visitors a year enjoy a unique place and atmosphere representing, in the best way, the face and soul of Spain. The Museu Fran Daurel is another main attraction at the Poble Espanyol. It showcases some 300 works by major contemporary artists, including Picasso, Dalí and Miró. Admission to the museum is included with the ticket to the Poble Espanyol. You will also find Guinovart area, a vast and luminous space with a huge sculpture of Josep Guinovart. Moreover, there is the sculpture garden where 36 sculptures transform the garden of Poble Espanyol into an evocative space where art and nature embrace each other. Also, with the entry ticket you have access to “El Tablao de Carmen”, one of Barcelona’s most famous flamenco Tablaos. Our opinion: The end result is a sort of Spanish Disneyland, complete with inflated prices. Better, come in the evenings (the hot ones). Good choice for kids and the additional expenses concerned. Still, well worth a leisurely visit of 2-3 hours. Usually, there are lots of people in Poble Espanyol, but because it is so extensive you can see everything at your own pace.  Note: signage in Poble Espanyol is very poor.

Public transport: Metro: Espanya Station (Line 1-Red and Line 3-Green), Ferrocarrils Catalans FGC trains - Espanya Station, Bus: Poble Espanyol stop of Lines 13, 23 and 150, Bus Turístic and Barcelona City Tour (the red route of the Barcelona Red hop on and off bus).

Opening hours: MON: 9.00 - 20.00, TUE - THU, SUN: 9.00 -  midnight, FRI: 9.00 - 15.00, SAT: 9.00 - 16.00. Open 365 days a year. 25 December: 9.00 - 14.00, 1 January: 13.00 - 20.00, from 8 January to 4 February: 9.00 - 20.00. 

Prices (on site / on-line): Adult: 14€ / 12,60€, child (From 4 to 12 years old): 7€ / 6,30€, Children under 4 years: FREE, Night (From 20.00): 7€ / 6,30€, Student: 10,50€/ 10,50€, Retired: 9€ / 9€, Family:36€ / 36€. A small tip: if you are planning to eat or attend any activity inside, you can get free entry if you show your booking confirmation at the entrance.

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A good view of the city from behind the monastery:

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It is 850 m. walk from Poble Espanyol back (east) to the MNAC (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya ,Palau Nacional). From Poble Espanyol head southwest on Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia toward Carrer de la Foixarda, 40 m. Turn left onto Carrer de la Foixarda, 140 m. Turn right to stay on Carrer de la Foixarda, 130 m. Turn left onto Av. dels Montanyans, 450 m. Continue onto Carrer del Mirador del Palau Nacional, 100 m. The MNAC is on your left. This magnificent museum, located high on a hill, is easily reached by escalator.  The building itself is a work of art, the collection is magnificent, and the view breathtaking:

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We go around the MNAC complex from east to south in purpose to climb the staircase leading to its main entrance in the south facade:

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You have TWO main reasons for investing a significant deal of time in a visit in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya or MNAC: for the views across the city and for the wonderful art inside.  We shall start with the first one. We would recommend coming here for the views alone! The entrance to the Palau is called "The Balcony of Barcelona". The terrace in front of the Museu Nacional is open: On summer weekends, the terrace will remain open until 23.00. Winter: : 19.00 or 21.00, SUMMER: 21.00 or midnight:

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From this magnificent terrace you enjoy magnificent views of the city of Barcelona and the show of light, sound and colour of the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc (at night). You can see the night show of the Font Majika from the balcony of the National Palace, it is a must-see that will take time to forget. If you want really great views to the north over Barcelona city. You can find in foreground the Reina Maria Cristina Avenue with the two Venetian Towers at the height of Spain Square (Plaça d’Espanya), also having a privileged view of the Magic Fountain of Montjuic and Tibidabo mountain with its amusement park at the far north:

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Then there is a special lift (back of the MNAC auditorium) that takes you up to the top of the museum and you can walk around the dome on the outside (€2 special fee). Really breathtaking views on the city, the Olympic Park and the whole Monjuic (to the south, west and east). The views to the north are giving a 360 degree turn. Make sure you visit the roof terrace as the views from there are really great !  Inside the exhibitions were mainly very engaging, but you do a lot of walking. The terrace itself is a nice place to sit and listen to the music ( there is always a guy or band playing a guitar or another musical instruments). A cafe and restaurant are also available. You can get beautiful view of Barcelona old port from the MNAC cafe' as well. From the east side of the roof of the MNAC, you will see the Sagrada Familia, the Agbar Tower and the two Vila Olímpica towers, while facing the south allows views of the Montjuic mountain with the Olympic Park allowing partially views of the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium or the Telecommunications Tower in Europe Square (Plaça d’Europa):

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Citywalk in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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Citywalk in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Public Transport: Metro - L1 (Red Line) and L3  (Green Line) - Placa Espanya. Buses: the best line is 55 (bus stop: Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya/Museu Etnològic), 9,  13,  27, 37, 50, 65, 79, 109, 150,165, D20, H12, V7. On foot: Plaça Espanya – Avinguda Maria Cristina – escalator up to the museum OR Anella Olímpica – escalator up to the museum (as we did in this itinerary).

Opening times: October to April: TUE - SUN: 10.00 - 18.00, SUN and public holidays: 10.00 - 15.00. May to September: TUE - SAT: 10.00 - 20.00, SUN and public holidays: 10.00 - 15.00. CLOSED: Mondays except public holidays, January 1st, May 1st and December 25th. Prices: adult - €12 (w/o audioguide, €14 (with audio guide), Students and Family (2 adults + 1 child) - 30% discount. FREE: under 16 years old, over 65 years old. Entry is free on Saturdays after 15.00. Your ticket is valid for two days so if you want to take a break you can split your visit into two days.

The MNAC is situated on Montjuïc hill at the end of Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina originating from Placa Espanya. It is one of the largest museums in Spain. The Museum is housed in the Palau Nacional, a huge, Italian-style building dating to 1929. The Palau Nacional, which has housed the Museu d'Art de Catalunya since 1934, was declared a national museum in 1990 under the Museums Law passed by the Catalan Government. the museum MNAC was founded in 1990 by the merger of the Museu d'Art de Catalunya (Romance, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque) and the Museu d'Art Modern (Arts of the 19th and 20th century). The main dome is absolutely stunning. One of its main architects was Pere Domènech i Roura, son of the brilliant modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Domènech i Roura was also the architect of the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium (see Tip 1 above).

This art museum is probably the best in Barcelona. The MNAC museum and the Palau building consist of two floors. There are about 100 steps up to the gallery which is a good workout. Alternatively there are elevators take you up to the Gallery. With 3 hours it's possible to walk-through (quickly) the whole museum. It's a great venue.  The museum is well designed and easy to navigate. The galleries are large with white walls and cleverly lit to make the works stand out but not stress us viewers out as we wander from chamber to chamber. It is very easy on the eye and they have obviously given a lot of thought as to what works to display and what to hold back. Free wifi is available inside as well. There are couches and places to sit everywhere, if you get tired.

Basically, There are 4 periods displayed, Romanesque, Gothic, Rennaisance and Modern Art. All sections are organized chronologically - starting with the earliest time and advance chronologically. For example, it is interesting and nice to see the progression of how faces were painted in the different periods. By the end of the Gothic, the faces were very realistic. 

The museum is especially notable for its outstanding collection of Romanesque church paintings, and for Catalan art. The real highlight here is the Romanesque art section, in the ground floor, considered the most important concentration of early medieval art in the world.

The Main Entrance Hall:

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Do visit the oval hall which is built in Roman style. A spectacular and unique space. The sculptures and painted ceilings are awe inspiring and well worth a visit. It has an immense dome, which allows the entrance of natural light. Note the organ, 34 metres long and 11 metres high, that overlooks the hall from the balcony:

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The most world's largest collection of Roman frescoes fills most of the rooms of the MNAC. The Romanesque frescoes, that had served to instruct villagers in the basics of the faith, date from the vestibule of 29 major Romanesque churches in the Pyrenees. So they could be saved before being destroyed by the Spanish Civil War. The artwork from medieval churches is spectacular and wonderfully exhibited. The frescoes salvaged from Catalan churches in the mountains, in mostly good shape, are really wonderful. The insides of several churches have been recreated and the frescoes – in some cases fragmentary, in others extraordinarily complete and alive with colour – have been placed as they were when in situ. One famous fresco, in room (Sala) 5, is a magnificent image of Christ in Majesty done around 1123. Based on the text of the Apocalypse, you see Christ enthroned on a rainbow with the world at his feet. He holds a book open with the words Ego Sum Lux Mundi (I am the Light of the World) and is surrounded by the four Evangelists:

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Other famous frescoes, in room 9, are frescoes done around the same time in the nearby Església de Santa Maria de Taüll. Originally, the church interior was totally decorated and despite not being preserved intact what we have is enough for us to know with some certainty what themes were represented and how they were distributed inside the church and to distinguish the different artists. The central fresco was taken from the apse is of the Virgin Mary and Christ Child:

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David and Goliath - Fresco in room 9:

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Fresco from Sant Romà de les Bons, Monastry of Santa Coloma d'Andorra (C. 1164):

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The excellent Gothic collection starts with some late 13th-century frescoes that were discovered in 1961 and 1997, when two palaces in the city were being renovated. There are carvings and paintings from local churches, including works by the indisputable Catalan masters of the Golden Age, Bernat Martorell and Jaume Huguet. In addition, the MNAC shows countless sacred objects.

Painting, Circa 1200, room 13, front of alter, from the parish church of Sant Andreu de Baltarga (Bellver de Cerdanya, Baixa Cerdanya):

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Opposite the Romanesque collection on the ground floor is the museum’s Gothic art section. In these halls you can see Catalan Gothic painting and works from other Spanish and Mediterranean regions. The exhibitions of Renaissance and Baroque art feature works by major international painters such as El Greco, Zurbarán, Velázquez and Rubens. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, in particular,  was first displayed in the Museu Nacional since 2004:

Fra Angelico (Giovanni da Fiesole),  painting,  1433–1435, room 38:
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Giambattista Tiepolo -Saint Cecilia - circa 1750-1760, room 35:

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Giandomenico Tiepolo -The Minuet - 1756, room 35:

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Francisco de Goya -Allegory of Love, Cupid and Psyche - circa 1798-1805, room 35:

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Diego Velázquez. Saint Paul circa 1619. This is a painting of youth done by Diego Velázquez, shortly before entering into the service of the Spanish monarch Felipe IV, room 35:

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Rubens - Virgin and Child with Saint Elizabeth and the Young Saint John. Circa 1618. Room 38:

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Tiepolo -Expulsion of the Traders from the Temple - circa 1750-1753, room 38:Retablo de san Miguel y san Pedro, Painting from 1432-1433, room 25.

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The Gothic and Medieval Section:

Conquest of Mallorca. This mural paintings, from 1285-1290, of the Conquest of Mallorca, come from the old mansion house of the Caldes family in carrer Montcada of Barcelona - nowadays known as the Palau Berenguer d'Aguilar, Carrer de Montcada, and which is currently home to the Museu Picasso. They show the conquest of the island of Mallorca by Jaume I the Conqueror in 1229. Room 17:

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Retablo de san Miguel y san Pedro, Painting from 1432-1433, room 25:

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Salvador (the Savior) by Pere Joan (alabaster, 1435-1445), room 25:

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Retaule de l'Epifania 1469. The altarpiece of Epiphany is a paint in the temple and oil on the table work by Joan Reixac made in 1469 for the convent of the Augustinian nuns of Rubiols de Mora ( province of Teruel ), room 28:

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Saint Otto, Master of La Seu d'Urgell, Painting,
Circa 1495-1498. Part of a set of cloths that decorated the doors of an organ that has not come down to us. From a total of 12 pieces 11 are kept at the MNAC. Room 28:

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The Deposition of Christ and the Road to Calvary, wood Sculpture, Circa 1500, room 31:

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As we ascend to the second floor - the high-domed main hall is still impressive:

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Ceramic mural that Joan Miró made for the Barcelona headquarters of IBM:

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The new (from 2014) displayof Modern Art , in the 2nd floor, goes as far as the 1950s, including the movement Dau al Set (the first post-World War II artistic movement in Catalonia). The modern collection upstairs is organized by theme rather than chronologically, which is an interesting idea. The Modern Art permanent exhibition is divided into four sections and an epilogue: The Rise of the Modern Artist, Modernista, Noucentista, Art and Civil War, and The Avant-garde revival of the Post-War Years. You'll find good display of Modernista (including Gaudi's)  furniture designs. Interesting Miro tile mural in the main area (see picture above). Some visitors say that the Picasso collection in the MNAC is better than the Museu de Picasso... Anyway, the MNAC two floors leave you with a very good blend of traditional and contemporary art.

Ramon Casas, Bulls (Dead Horses), room 1:

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Francesc Masriera - Boy on Attic, room 5:

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Francesc Masriera, In the Presence of the Lord, 1891, room 9:Citywalk in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Hermen Anglada Camarasa, Nightbird (1913) and Portrait of Magda Jocelyn (1904), room 10:

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Romà Ribera, De soirée, 1902, room 10:

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Francesc Masriera - Before and After the Ball, 1886, room 10:

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Josep Masriera, Llavaneres, 1890, room 12:

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Alfred Sisley, A Bend in the Loing, 1892, room 14:

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Francesc Masriera, Winter 1882, Painting, 1882, room 16:

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Joaquim Renart, Bamboo Screen, 1905, room 16:

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Ramon Casas - an exhibition - 150 years from his birthday:

Ramon Casas - self portrait:

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Ramon Casas and the shadow puppets. This Casas' exceptional collection is a group of 11 shadow puppets, designed by Casas, cut and constructed by the Josep Meifrèn, painter Eliseu Meifrèn's brother and member of "Els Quatre Gats", circle of friends. 1897-1898:

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Litografia - The 4 Cats group:

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Le Chat Noir ("The Black Cat") was a nineteenth-century entertainment establishment, in the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris. Théophile Steinlen's 1896 poster advertising the cabaret, 1896:

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Joaquim Mir, stained glass triptych: El Gorg Blau (The Blue Pool), 1911, room 17:

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Auguste Rodin, Sculpture, 1876, The age of Bronze, room 17:

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Gaspar Homar, Three women picking fruit, 1905-1906, ceramic tiles, room 17:

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Interiors of 'Modernisme': Gaspar Homar, Joan Busquets and Architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, room 56:

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Settee with side cabinets and the marquetry panel “La sardine” by Gaspar Homar, room 56:

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Furniture by Joan Busquets, 1907-1911, room 56:

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José Gutiérrez Solana, Las Coristas (The Choir Girls), circa 1925, room 21:

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Juli González, Woman at her Toilette, Circa 1912-1913, room 23:

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Francesc Domingo Segura, The Gamblers, 1920, room 26:

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Francesc Domingo Segura, The Spectators, 1934, Room 26:

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Introduction to Surrealism:

Modest Cuixart - Moon Fisher, 1949:

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Pablo Picasso, Woman in Hat and Fur Collar (Marie-Thérèse Walter), 1937, room 31:

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Juli (Julio) González, Montserrat Shouting, No 1 and Shouting, 1936-1939, room 31:

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Juli (Julio) González, Cactus Man, 1939, room 31:

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José García Narezo, Defensa de Madrid (The Defence of Madrid), 1937, From the series 'Esfuerzo-Triunfo' (Effort-Triumph), room 31:

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Ramón Puyol, El estratega (The Strategist), 1936, room 31:

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Olga Sacharoff, Newly Wedding, 1939, room 72. Sacharoff formed part of the noucentisme català, (Catalan movement of the beginning of the 20th century):

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Juli (Julio) González, Raised Left and Right hands, 1942 (year of Gonzalez death), room 78:

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Julio Gorgola:

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Juli González, Nude and Female Peasant, Circa 1920-1923:

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Spain

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