Romanesque art in Barcelona

The splendid museum of MNAC at the Montjuïc Hill in Barcelona

The MNAC museum, built in 1929 was transformed into a museum in 1934. From then on the museum has contained a unique and exceptional - but little known - collection of medieval art. Behind the thick walls of the great palace built in Renaissance style, the so called National Palace, hides what can be described as the most beautiful collection of "primitive" mural in Europe. In other words, this fantastic museum in Barcelona for the mural, what Venice and Ravenna is for the mosaic art.

Romanesque art in Barcelona
Saint Mary, Joseph and the birth of Christ. Romanesque period, from the museum of MNAC in Barcelona.

This incredible collection of frescoes comes from small Romanesque churches in the Pyrenees. During the first decades of the 20th century a huge interest in this medieval art grew up, and by an Italian technique the directors of the museum managed to remove the images (that were getting destroyed by moisture in the small churches ) and to bring them to Barcelona.

Romanesque art in Barcelona
The famous Christ Pantokrator from Sant Client de Taüll from aprox 1123 AC.

Originally, the images are probably not painted by local artists, but by itinerant artists who traveled throughout the Mediterranean. The paintings contain motifs and techniques that were developed in Byzantium, but which came to Catalonia thanks to itinerant artists, maybe from Sicily.

The Pantocrator figure from Sant Climent de Taüll
One of the museum's most famous works are Pantokrator-figure from the Sant Climent de Taüll Church. This a Christian figure, which sits majestically in a rainbow (mandorla), which is one of the favorite symbols in romanesque art. At his feet we see the world globe and the letters on each side of the figure is alpha (Α) and Omega (Ω).

Serafines in MNAC

Details and prices for a guided tour to Romanesque Art

Duration and Prices
Duration: 2-3 hours:

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Are you interested in seeing the best of romanesque architecture in Catalonia? Read more about our romanesque architecture tour.

Details and prices for the Romanesque Art Tour in Barcelona
Prices from
45 €
per person for a private tour to Romanesque Art in Barcelona. The prices go from 350 € for a group of 8 people.

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