At the time we were not sure what it is we were going to see but as we walked towards the building on the hill ahead we saw a sign for an Art Museum. Well, looking at each other, we knew we were going to like this spot.
The surroundings and the approach were very pleasing to the eye. We had discovered the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. This building was erected for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona and then made into a museum to house over 5000 works by Spanish artists.
The dome at the top is made to copy the dome on St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
We never did count the stairs to the museum but we climbed a while.
We were delighted to come upon one stretch of moving steps!
These four columns fronting the entry have only been recently placed there. Originally the 4 columns were created by Joseph Puig i Cadafaich to symbolize the four stripes in the Catalan senyera (flag). When there was a revolt in the government in the 20's that brought down the Catalan government of the area, the columns were destroyed only to be rebuilt and erected in 2010. The columns today are made of concrete instead of the original brick and they are placed a few metres from their original spot. Of course, those two reasons are enough to spark some controversy.
The nice thing about being a tourist is that you can look, see, walk on by and not have to stay around for the harsh words thrown about by the die-hards.
The buildings on this hilltop cover over 50,000 square metres...we saw only a small part of one exhibit.
Sherwin and I both admire the use of wrought iron and clay tiles used in Spanish architecture. Small details finish off the tops of the towers you can see on the left in the photo above and up close below.
Now come inside with us. Where do you begin in a building this size? It seemed a little overwhelming.
We chose Modern Art and were rewarded with exceptional pieces... we will need to go back to Spain to take a second and third look at all the treasures they have there.
If you look at the next photo you will see the mix of architecture from the original building in the 1920's to some modern additions; the museum was given new status in 1990 when it was refurbished and brought up to date for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
The first exhibit we saw was a Large room of models. If you have been following Sherwin's blog (click here) for some time you know he has had a lot of fun building a model of our addition here on Mayne Island. So we loved this room. Below is the model for that new bullet shaped building that I showed you some days ago...
that is used to symbolize the New Barcelona.
In the next photo you will see Sherwin snapping a ceiling but if you look beyond him you will see low tables... that is where the models are.
This is what he was looking at... of course, I couldn't just walk on by.
This ceiling is fresco work by artist Francesc d'Assis Gali. You can read more about the museum if you click here. There are explanations on the refurbishment program.
I won't show you over 5000 pieces of Spanish art... how about a half dozen?
We spent one afternoon there... imagine how much time it would take to view it all.
One last view inside as we leave the building...
And one more backwards glance before we say good-bye for now...
"Now more than ever do I realize
that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted
by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere."
- Isabelle Eberhardt
Adios. Until next time, God bless and be well.