The Frederic Marès Museum is possibly the most fascinating indoor space in the whole of Barcelona and that is up against some pretty stiff opposition!
Located alongside the Gothic Cathedral, the museum houses the vast (and we mean vast) collection of the sculptor Frederic Marès. On arriving in Barcelona from Port Bou at the tender age of 10, Frederic recalls in his memoirs starting to collect chocolate papers and small pictures. Who could imagine, when he died 98 years later he would have amassed a collection so large it fills an entire building (not including everything out on loan across the world and several thousand items in storage!) It is hard to believe that Marès also had the time to be very successful career as a sculptor.
The museum itself ranges across five floors and to give you an idea the ‘The Collector’s Cabinet‘ section has 17 halls and over 10,000 objects. If you follow the suggested ‘route’ you begin in the Ancient and Medieval sculpture zone and then move up a floor to the Renaissance and Baroque area. The sculpture collection is the most complete in the whole of Spain, most notable item being the Romanesque relief of the appearance of Jesus to his disciples at the sea.
On floor two you enter the aforementioned ‘Collector’s Cabinet’ zone. Filled with ‘curiosities’, there is particular focus on the 19th century. From bicycles to boxes, cigars to clocks and fans to photography, this is truly an incredible insight to the recent past.
Finally, at the top of the museum, you get an glimspe into the actual world of Frederic Marès as you step into the Frederic Marès’ Library-Study. It is here you can discover the sculptural objects from his private library and see which items the sculptor himself chose to display publicly.
It is a HUGE collection and you can suffer from item overload! However if you keep your ticket, the museum allows you to pop back in to see anything you missed, free of charge. So visit over a couple days and really enjoy it.
As with many museums in Barcelona, it is closed on Mondays, but for the rest of the week the opening hours are 10.00 – 19.00 (Tue to Sat ) and 11:00 – 20.00 (Sundays). The entry is a super reasonable €4.20 with the usual reductions for children and OAPs. Even if you decide not to go inside there is a fab little cafe in the patio area outside the museum entrance which is a great spot to get out of the heat of the day and the throngs in the Gothic Quarter!
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