Since the very beginning of the urbanization of Barcelona’s Montjuïc hill, there was a plan to make the top of the hill a centre for art and culture. Or “a great Temple of Art, a summary and compendium of our most prodigious knowledge.” as Manuel Vega i March put it. When the city finally got the opportunity to design such a building, they built the Palau Nacional, designed by Ugenio Cendoya and Enric Catà. The palace is designed in the Spanish Renaissance style with a dome inspired by Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It originally hosted the “Arte en España” exhibition at the 1929 World’s Fair where it displayed a chronological story of Spain’s most important moments in art history.
Now, the palace is known as the National Art Museum of Catalonia. It still hosts several exhibitions of it’s own throughout the year and also has a detailed permanent collection for the public to visit. The collection includes a large amount of Romanesque, Moderisme and Noucentisme works. As well as Gothic, Boroque and even Modern pieces. The museum also has one of the most well stocked archives in Spain – with manuscripts dating as far back as 1493. The interior is absolutely stunning – with high, arched, painted ceilings and spacious windows that let the natural light shine on the art inside. And it’s not just the inside of the building that is gorgeous. The steps and gardens of the palace are a vary popular chill-out spot for visitors and locals alike. The museum is on top of the lovely Montjuïc hill away from the city noise, and the view is something everyone must see while in Barcelona!
You will find the museum located at the top of Montjuïc hill, right in front of Plaza España. It’s accessible by metro Plaza Espanya on Lines 1 and 3. Check out the official website for operating hours, exhibition details and prices!
Enjoy this article? Also check out our extensive list of must-see & lesser-known museums in Barcelona! And if you’re a fan of cultural experiences and enjoy visiting these galleries and museums with groups of like-minded people, join us on one of our many FREE guided visits of Barcelona’s top museums! Enjoy exploring!
Your friendly neighbourhood travel guide,