The City History Museum of Barcelona is spread over three buildings; the Royal Palace in the Gothic Quarter, the Monastery Museum of Pedralbes in Pedralbes and the Verdaguer Museum House in Vallvidrera. By far the most visited and easily reached is the Royal Palace and this outstanding group of Gothic buildings set on top of the Roman remains of the city gives a fascinating insight into the history of Barcelona through the ages.
The Monunmental Ensemble of the Palau del Rei as it is grandly known is located in the Plaça del Rei square, just behind and to the left of the Gothic cathedral. This Gothic square is a gorgeous location in itself consisting of building from 14th-16th centuries, and although often filled with tour groups and their flag-bearing guides it is still possible to appreciate the beauty of this perfectly preserved medieval setting.
The museum is located in a 15th century building that was moved to its current site in 1931 and is divided into two sections; the upper floor shows the history of the city from the 16th century to the present day, whilst the lower floor displays 4.000m2 of Roman remains from 1st century BC to 8th century AD.It furthermore provides access to the Gothic Roya lPalace, home of the Kings of Aragon, the Salón del Tinell (the palace´s banqueting hall where Ferdinand and Isabel are said to have received Columbus on returning from his first voyage of discovery), the chapel of Saint Agatha, the 16th century King Martin lookout tower and the Romanesque vaults.
The museum’s collection of artefacts is extensive and varied; many objects were found during the archaeological excavations and include pottery, stone and glass objects, stone and marble sculpture, coins and Roman portraits amongst other ancient treasures. The rest of the collection contains anything related to Barcelona’s history, illustrating the life of the city and its residents over the years. Items therefore range from Gothic altarpieces to buttons and anything in between; engravings, sculpture, chemists'jars and even the bomb that exploded in the Liceu Theatre back in 1893.
Monumental Ensemble of the Palau del Rei, Plaça del Rei.
Opening times: 1 Oct-31 May, Tues-Sat 10am-2pm and 4pm-8pm, Sundays and holidays 10am-3pm.1 June-30 Sept Tues-Sat 10am-8pm, Sundays and holidays 10am-3pm.
Closed Mondays, also closed 1 Jan, 1 May, 24 June, 25/26 Dec.Free entry 1st Sat of month.
Metro: Jaume I (L4)