The Museu Marítim (Maritime Museum) is certainly one of the most interesting sights in Barcelona. In line with the theme, the museum is housed in the former shipyards of Drassane. The museum is located on the southern edge of the old town and at the end of the Rambla, and has an extensive collection of ships and boats and a large exhibition on the construction of medieval sailing ships.
In the Drasannes war and merchant ships were built from the 13th until 18th Century. The construction of the shipyards was Barcelona's naval supremacy throughout the Mediterranean expansion. It could take up to 30 galleys simultaneously in the built vaults. From 1792, the Drassanes were used as barracks.
Since 1929, the permanent exhibition at the Maritime Museum shows the maritime history of Catalonia, the museum moved into the Gothic building in 1936. In several steps the buildings were restored, so that it now has an exhibition area of more than 10,000 sq m.
The exhibited vessels are certainly the highlights of the Maritime Museum. Especially noteworthy is the faithful reproduction of a galley from the 16th Century. The 60-metres-long royal galley Admirals of Juan de Austria was involved in the Battle of Lepanto on 7 October 1571, in which the Turkish Armada was defeated. 236 people at 59 oars used to row on the galley.
In Port Vell, about 500 metres from the museum buildings, the three-mast schooner Santa Eulàlia is located, which also can be viewed. It was launched in 1919 and is a typical merchant ship of that time.
Several other boats of different categories, from simple wooden fishing boats to a wooden submarines to racing boats are exhibited.
With the same care and building technology the big ships were built with, even at times of the naval supremacy of Barcelona on the Mediterranean, original models of ships were built. This happened e.g. for training and testing purposes. Most models of the collection were made in the 19th Century. Often the original ships no longer exist, so that the models provide valuable information on the design, technology and capacity of ships of all eras.
The Museu Marítim has a remarkable collection of nautical instruments, which are especially served for navigation. Most instruments are from the period of the 18th to the 20th Century and show the development of the sextant, depth gauge and many other navigational tools.
The figureheads were always supposed to make sure that the sailing ships sail safely through the sea. The main part of the collection comes from Catalan sailing ships of the 19th Century.
The construction of the royal shipyard started between 1280 and 1300. Originally, the shipyards consisted of a walled area without a roof. The complex resembled a fortress, there was a watchtower on each corner, two of which are still preserved today.
The shipyard halls with roof were completed in 1381. Reasons for the long construction period were a lack of money, large crop failures and famines and a population decimated by the plague. After the first completion the Gothic shipyard consisted of a total of eight halls, in each of which a ship could be built. In 1571, the La Real was built in the Drassanes. The shipyard halls were gradually expanded and at the end of the 16th century, the Drassanes already consisted of 16 halls, which then were expanded in 1618 by three halls.
From 1714 to 1935 a barracks was housed in the shipyard. Shortly before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the buildings were handed over to the city of Barcelona, ââand the museum was opened on 18 January 1941. During the renovation works from 2011 to 2014, a Roman necropolis with 25 tombs was discovered in the Drassanes.
The Museu Marítim is located in a medieval shipyard. The building itself is already impressive. Barcelona dominated the Mediterranean for a while during the Middle Ages. Here you can see how the ships were built: first models were built and tested. With those models, the processes were tested in the yard. Ropes had to be made in the shipyard and the wood had to be processed in a specific way. Here you can see the entire production process of the shipyard. The highlight is the faithful replica of a medieval rowing galley. But also modern sports and commercial boats and maritime equipment are exhibited.
Avinguda de les Drassanes
Phone: +34 933 429 920
Metro: Drassanes (L3)
Bus Turístic: Colom - Museu Marítim
Regular: €10.00, reduced: € 5.00
Free admission on Sundays from 15.00.
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