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Barcelona Village

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Museums

Barcelona is blessed with museums from the well known Picasso to lesser known such as the Chocolate museum full of sculptures made with chocolate.

A summary of museums. More later

1. Picasso museum

Long queues make this the most popular museum in the city. The art work itself contains a lot of early pictures from the ages of 15-25 which are a fascinating demonstration of changes in style, and secondly from later in life. There is a room dedicated to his reworking of Velaquez in different styles and forms, but most major works by Picasso are in other museums around the world but you do get a good sense of his development as an artists here.

2. Science museum Caixacosmo

This is one of the best science museums we've been to anywhere. It's large, but not huge by comparison with the Science museum in London for instance, but almost all of it is hands on in some way making it a real place to explore. It's extremely well presented and well lit in a modern style but actively encourages you to try things out and participate. We ran out of time on the first visit and couldn't get to see everything.

3. Chocolate museum

This isn't, as you might expect, a museum of the history of chocolate, although there is a little of that. The museum is connected to the Confectionary and Patesserie school and most of it is a museum fully of chocolate sculptures and art. For instance a chocolate statue of liberty that appeared on the cover of Time magazine. It's not a big museum but prepare to be wowed.

4. Martime/ship museum

A large museum in Drassenes near the statue of Chrisopher Columbus (did you know Columbus was connected to BDN - neither did we) in the 17th century royal ship building yards. A lot of space and a lot of boats including a complete 18th century galley. Enjoyable for the range of exhibits and to see the inside of the building.

5. Museum of Catalonia

If you, like us, are in Barcelona and have very little knowledge of Catalonian history then this is the place to come. It's a little dry, but our children enjoyed the roman and pre-roman parts. For adults you learn about the flowering of Catalonia and its importance in the Eastern Med, before it was turned into a buffer zone between France and Spain from around 1500 since when it always seemed under the yoke. Also of interest in modern day is the exhibit on the Spanish Civil War - if you read Orwell's Homage to Catalonia at the same time you'll see what mixed up times the city has been through.

6. MACCABI

Modern art in a very very beautiful building. Sorry, but I think you have to be real modern art buff to like the art. For me most looked like amateur student stuff full of clever art-history in-jokes, often with poor craft skills. But the building is superb.

7. CCCB

Opposite Maccabi, a performance centre and exhibitions. Often has many interesting things going on - like photography exhibitions, performance art or film shorts. What you think of it will depend on what's on. We've been told it has activities for children at the weekends, but haven't confirmed this.

8. Poble Espanyol

Examples of Spanish house styles from around Spain put together into a Spanish village. Unfortunately, all the houses have been turned into shops and it feels like a themed shopping mall at times and prices are expensive plus you had to pay to go in. The houses are interesting, but if you really like this sort of thing visiting the real thing (eg Vilafranca or Vic) would be better. Not something we would recommend.

9. Barcelona Zoo

We live near the zoo and go through regularly to get to the city centre. Some peolpe would say that the space for the animals is quite constrained, but the primates section in particular is very impressive with gorillas, and being smallish the children can get very close to the animals (you can almost touch the hippos bathing). As zoo's go for us as humans it is good, not so sure for the animals.

There are a bunch of places we've yet to see - Fundacio Joan Miro, the textile museum, the music museum and all the Gaudi interiors for example, but we'll probably wait now until next winter to see these..


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