Things to do in Barcelona – Visit the Maritime Museum

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If you’re interested in history, specifically maritime history, consider visiting the Barcelona Maritime Museum (Museu Marítim de Barcelona).

Maritime Museum View from Columbus Tower Monument

The museum, open to the public since the 1930s, is housed in the Reials Drassanes, or former Royal Shipyards, originally constructed in the late 13th century for Peter the Great, King of Aragon. Once part of the city’s fortifications (portions of which can be seen along Avinguda del Paral·lel), the complex served as a galley arsenal for centuries before being put into use as a military foundry, barracks, and artillery store.

Model of Royal Shipyards Barcelona Maritime Museum

The impressive buildings feature massive arched naves which serve as prime exhibition space for an interesting collection of nautical items. During the time of our visit, however, the majority of the museum was undergoing renovations and the exhibitions were limited to just a few of the highlights. We were able to see:

Diorama of Fishermen Barcelona Maritime Museum

Dioramas and miniature models of the shipyards, nautical scenes, and sailing vessels, such as:

80 Gun Warship Barcelona Maritime Museum

An 80-gun warship crafted in Havana (this model reportedly traveled to France with an officer in Napoleon’s army, was taken to the U.S. during WWI, and subsequently donated to the Maritime Museum in 1985), and

Carrack Victoria Barcelona Maritime Museum

Victoria, a 16th-century three-masted carrack (as part of Magellan’s expedition, the Victoria was the first ship to circumnavigate the world);

Maritime inspired artwork and nautical items, like:

Shipyard Scales Barcelona Maritime Museum

19th-century dockyard scales, original to this historical site;

Replica of 18th Century Painting Barcelona Maritime Museum

A replica of an 18th-century painting of Barcelona; 

Battle of Lepanto by Brugada Barcelona Maritime Museum

A painting of the Battle of Lepanto, by Antonio Brugada;

Turk Figurehead Barcelona Maritime Museum

Ship’s figureheads, like the gesturing, turbaned ‘Turk’; 

Lighthouse Lens Barcelona Maritime Museum

and a revolving lens from the Sant Sebastian Lighthouse;

A nice collection of original watercraft including fishing and pleasure boats, such as:

Papet Fishing Boat Barcelona Maritime Museum

Papet, a 1907 inshore fishing boat;

Skate Catamaran Barcelona Maritime Museum

Dinghy Barcelona Maritime Museum

Rowboat Barcelona Maritime Museum

A catamaran, a dinghy, a dugout, and a rowboat;

Longliner Madrona Barcelona Maritime Museum

Madrona, a 1924 longliner;

Trawler Maria del Carmen Barcelona Maritime Museum

Maria del Carmen, a wooden trawler beautifully decorated with bright red flowers

 Eye of Horus and Flowers Barcelona Maritime Museum

and the Eye of Horus, a sailor’s protective talisman;

European Class Sailboat Barcelona Maritime Museum

Wooden Europe Class sailboats;

Evinrude Playmate Barcelona Maritime Museum

A 1966 American-made Evinrude 14’ Playmate;

Evinrude Playmate Barcelona Maritime Museum

and the Maritime Museum’s pièce de résistance, a full-scale replica of John of Austria’s 16th-century Royal Galley, a roughly 200-foot, 59-oar, twin-masted flagship adorned with intricate reliefs, paintings, and a gilded figurehead of Neptune riding a dolphin

Neptune Figurehead Barcelona Maritime Museum

(check him out on the miniature of the ship displayed nearby).

Ictineo I Submersible Barcelona Maritime Museum

On your way out, take a look at the replica of Ictineo I, a mid-19th-century submersible.

The Barcelona Maritime Museum hosts several temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

Getting there:

The Barcelona Maritime Museum is located at Avinguda de les Drassanes, s/n, directly across from the Columbus Monument (Mirador de Colom).

Ticket Info:

Adult Admission (Exhibition + Schooner Santa Eulàlia) = 5.00€; Free on Sundays after 3:00 p.m.

Adult Admission (Exhibits in the Vestibule + l’Espai Mirador) = Free

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