Frederic Marès MuseumMy assessment: 4 stars+ A surprisingly large and unusual collection can be found in this former royal palace. The audio guide is just a single Euro, and an absolute must!
- Some advice for first-time visitors to Barcelona: There are other museums that might be more interesting on a first visit. Should you be a repeat visitor, however, this is absolutely a fun alternative.
Last updated: 27 Feb 2020 | Celine Mülich
Price of admission: 4,20 Euro, reduced price 2,40 Euro (Groups with 10 persons, young people between 16 and 29, senior citizens) free admission 1. Sunday of a month, every Sunday after 3:00 p.m., children under the age of 16
Audio guide: 1 Euro, Languages: Spanish, Catalan, French, English Tours: I still have to check this
How to get there: L4 (yellow line): Jaume I
And what's there to see?
The Catalan artist Frederic Marès was a well-known Barcelonian sculptor and a passionate collector of art and items loaded with cultural heritage. And that’s why this museum is so unusual: Marès’ own works are only a small part of the museum – his enormous collection is what takes up most of the space!
And this collection starts with just a few antique sculptures on the lower level. But then Marès’ collector’s passion takes the center stage: An incredible number of religious sculptures with innumerable Christ figurines, Madonna with Child, and other holy figures make up a wonderful timeline from medieval to baroque art.
On the upper levels, Marès’ unusual collector’s passion intensifies: There are two levels worth of scissors, pipes, keys, eyeglasses, relics, ceramics, photographs, and so much more. Marès seems to have collected anything – and I mean literally anything – that he could get his hands on.
The library features some of his own art. There are beautiful female figures, preparatory work for his figures of public interest, and portraits of some of his contemporaries.
Photogallery of the Marès Museum
A history of the Frederic Marès Museum
The museum was opened between 1946 and 1948. Frederic Marès, aged 51 at the time, wanted to donate his collection to the city of Barcelona because he had no more room available to keep it in. The city happily obliged and has continually benefited ever since: Marès lived to the venerable age of 99 and remained a collector for much of that time. When the museum, too, ran out of space, Marès began to gift some of the items to other museums, and even opened an additional museum in Montblanc!
The building itself is historically relevant, too – it’s part of the royal palace in the Gothic district! The palace was constructed as early as the 11th century, and expanded throughout the years. You can even see into the Sala Tinell from one of the rooms. The Sala Tinell is a large hall where, according to legend, Columbus presented the first gifts from his travels to the New World to the Queen and King, Isabell I and Ferdinand II.