Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (or MNAC as it is by locals) is located on Montjuïc hill in the Palau Nacional and houses one of the world’s best collections of Romanesque church paintings. It also has a stunning collection of Catalan art from the end of the 19th Century and beginning of the 20th Century spanning nearly every genre.
Although there has been a museum of Catalan art at the current location since 1934, it wasn’t declared a national museum until 1990. Subsequently, extensive renovation work carried out on site in anticipation of the 1992 Summer Olympics and various exhibits were added to the collection. In 2004 the museum was officially inaugurated as MNAC.
The Romanesque art found in the museum includes an outstanding series of mural paintings as well as an impressive Gothic art collection too. The Renaissance and Baroque Art Collection in the museum was first established by acquiring local pieces and then was grown through donations and acquisitions from private galleries. This is quite unusual for Renaissance and Baroque art collections which are usually established through aristocratic or royal collections such as at the Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museums.
Anyone who appreciates art will absolutely love this museum. If you go, make sure you allocate a whole morning or afternoon to it as there is so much to see!