Museum Day in Barcelona!
Today was a museum day in Barcelona and the crowds were already out this morning when we left the hotel on foot soon after breakfast. It can be brutally hot in Spain, but although humid, there was a slight breeze for much of the day.
The Museo Historia has an interesting approach to taking you on a journey through history. You begin by descending in a glass elevator to the bottom floor where you step out 2,000 years ago in Roman times, As we walked through the excavations of an ancient town, we saw foundations of homes, a winery, fish drying plant, and even a laundry, One display case had small wine vessels and a ceramic object which I always see in Roman museums, but never knew what it was. It turns out that Roman doors were made of wood and did not survive over time, but their ceramic doorknobs did.
Another display showed old maps with trade routes from Rurope. I love old maps. Dome from the 1600's showed a distorted Sout America looking bigger than Africa and most were missing Australia or parts of the western United States. Maps of course were much more precise in their detail of Europe and Asia.
Lunch was at the Maritime Museum. It has the best preserved shipyard in the Mediteranean. The cafe set in a courtyard had an amazing deal. For 10 euros or $14, we had a three course meal with gazpacho, fish, raspberry mouse, and your choice of a drink. Beside our table was a pool with fish and turtles. Parents could not keep children at their seats because they were so busy investigating and calling out, "Mira, Mira!" (look look!). One father snatched a turtle out of the water for his daughter, but as soon as he put it down, it dove right in the pool.
The Museu Nacional D'Art De Catalunya is in the most amazing building and setting. Situatr on top of a hill above the harbor it was once used to open the 1929 international exhibition. Inside we saw an exhibit of Romanesque art from Catalunya. Beginning in the early 20th century, artwork was found in a church in the Pyrenees in Boi. It was a remote village, but the art work was purchased by the museum to prevent it from being sold and dispersed all over Europe. Between the 1920's and late 1970's, the frescoes and artifacts were carefully removed, and preserved and displayed in the museum in exactly the same way they appeared in the churches with the same ambient lighting, Some of the frescoes were primitive type paintings while others were quite elaborate, but they were all very striking, We also saw carved wooden statues on display and many have retained much of their original color.
Walking back down to the city we passed by various levels with cascading waterfalls. We met a man and we all agreed, Barcelona is one of the most amazing cities we have ever seen.