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Palau Nacional - MNAC

Palau Nacional - MNAC (84C)

Leaving the Magic Fountain behind, climb a few steps up towards art and culture. There are escalators to take you directly to the Palau Nacional, the National palace and home to the National Art Museum of Catalonia since 1934. 

The palace closes the view from the Avinguda Maria Cristina in a theatrical and grandiose manner. 

It is a monumental building whose overall classical style is combined with Baroque and Plateresque elements. It has a symmetrical design, with a large oval hall in the middle covered by one large and two smaller domes. There are also four towers, one in each corner.

And because of its size, it contains a lot of art. Almost a thousand years of Catalan art history are exhibited in its numerous rooms. From Romanesque to the 20th Century. 

The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya contains all kinds of art: sculpture, painting, drawing, prints, posters, photography...

It is a great tour of Catalan art and it is worth going round in order to see all of it, if only superficially.  

Start with the Romanesque art, of which the museum holds an incomparable rich collection, considered unique in the world. 

Continue with the Gothic, so frequently found in Catalonia: works on board, paintings, enamels, gold work and cut stone, wood and marble. 

The Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical, Modernism and Realism, Noucentisme....until you reach the Catalan avant garde. Here you can also see decorative modernist pieces: mosaics, glass cabinets, marquetry, flooring and sculptures as well as furniture, lamps and carpets of the period, from houses which are not open to the public such as the Casa Lleó-Marqués by 

Domènech i Montaner or the Casa Amatller by Puig i Cadafalch.

And if you have time left over, you should know that this museum also holds an extensive collection of more than 36,000 drawings, 50.000 prints and approximately 10,000 artistic posters. There is also a special room with a collection of over 105,000 coins, medals, banknotes and other objects of special historical interest. And a photography collection containing both historical and modern prints.

As you can see, the National palace is very big, although it occupies just a small place on Montjuïc.

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