The Catalonia History Museum, or MHCAT (Museu d'Història de Catalunya) offers a faascinating insight into Catalonia's past in a converted former dockside warehouse. The Catalonia History Museum is one of Barceloneta's most interesting cultural attractions.
Catalonia once had a trade empire to rival Venice's or Genoa's of which Barcelona was the capital. This, together together with its Roman foundations, the story of its brutal subjugation during the Spanish War of Succession and the oppressive Franco years, provides the basis of a series of wonderful exhibitions charting the development of this intriguing region of Spain.
The Catalonia History Museum's permanent exhibitions cover eight different periods during Catalonia's history. Among the most interesting is Raices (Roots), which explores the earliest traces of human activity in the area, from the Lower Paleolithic Era over 450000 years ago, through Bronze Age Iberian civilization, Roman conquest and the arrival of the Visigoths.
Another fascinating section is Birth of a Nation, which plots the course of the formative years of a Catalan national identity, under duresse from the threat posed by Moorish invaders. Nuestro Mar (Our Sea) is an exhibiition dedicated to the trade empire Catalonia enjoyed in the eastern Mediterranean, when the Balearic Islands, Sardinia and Naples were all under Catalan control.
There's an ever-changing roster of visiting exhibitions at the Catalonia History Museum. Topics covered include anything from Catalan Post-Civil War usic to the way the Costa Brava was before the ravages of tourist development changed it forever during the twentieth century.
There's also a cafe-terrace, an auditorium, a historian's workshop, a library and a restaurant.
Address: Plaçade Pau Vila, 3 (Palau de Mar), 08003, Barcelona
Entry Fee: 4€ (3€ for under-18s and free for over-65s). You get free a free visit on the first Sunday of the month.
Visiting Times: 10am - 7pm from Tuesday to Saturday and until 8pm on Wednesdays. 10am - 2.30pm on Sundays. Closed on Mondays.
How to Get There: The Catalonia History Museum is easily accessed via a three minute walk from Barceloneta Metro Station (Yellow Line).
Getting to Barcelona: Barcelona is served by Barcelona El Prat Airport, and Renfe trains connect from all other major Spanish cities to Sants Estacio.