While we were there, the museum was mostly closed off and only about 1/4 available for viewing. The pretense is the inside is under renovation, but an attendant indicated he hopes it will reopen but was unsure due to funds shortage. The inside was said to have many great pieces of ships and maritime artifacts, but did not see a lot of it.
The museum is in the Reiais Drassanes fortress compound which was the old shipyards dating back to 1283. It is open 10-7PM daily
This is one of my favourite museums, not only in Barcelona but in general. I have been there already two times. It is located close to the sea, in the premises of the old dockyards - the architecture of the old building with it´s arches is simply fascinating!
You can see different types of ships, amongst them the highlight - the copy of Juan de Austria`s flagship. You can climb up the flagship and cross it on a small bridge. Along the way you can see scenes of those poor guys rowing under awful weather conditions in some kind of multi media show - I indeed had a goose skin when watching this! Furthermore, most interesting old maps of a time when people believed that the world consists of Europe and Africa only or seamen`s implements are on display. I also liked the votive paintings donated by saved castaways. Another interesting thing is the rebuilt seafarer`s cabin.
They offer audioguides, which are most useful, especially if you are not capable to understand spanish or catalan. Entrance fee is EUR 6,50.
The heart and soul of the naval museum is the replica galleon. Reconstructed as closely as possible to the one John of Austria sailed into the Battle of Lepanto, the exhibit makes no bones whatsoever about the tough life it must have taken to serve on board one of these vessels. Shortly afterwards, the galleon became obsolete.
Although not often taught, the Battle of Lepanto is one of the most decisive battles ever fought. The alliance of Spain, The Papal States, Venice, and Malta defeated the Turkish navy so decisively that it all but disappears forevermore and never again plays a significant factor in Mediterranean history. Threats of Islamic invasion onto the Italian peninsula were ended once and forevermore by the soldiers and slaves who manned this kind of vessel.
I'd thought that the museum would focus more on Christopher Columbus, which Catalonia claims to be one of their sons. It was a pleasant surprise indeed to find out that they chose to focus on the lesser known but just as interesting John of Austria and the Battle of Lepanto.
We had a couple of hours before catching the ferry to Palma and as it is next to the port we went in. What a pleasant surprise. Nice exibits from an area steeped in maritime history. The bonus for us was the Titanic Exibition that was on. I've been to the ones in the UK but this one was better for some reason. More personal tales of the people who traveled.
We hired the earphones and you were given a boarding pass with a name of one of the passengers who sailed that fateful day. Right at the end on a huge plaque you had to find your name to see if you had survived. You couldn't fail but to have a tear in your eye for the poor souls who lost their lives.
If ever you get the chance to see one of them it's well worth the visit.
Housed in an old shipping warehouse that is a sight unto itself, I thought the Museu Maritim was one of the best things to see and do in Barcelona. Sadly, beyond the audio guides, there isn't much for speakers of any language besides Catalan and Spanish. The audio guides are pretty good. For what it is worth, speaking Italian, I was able to get the gist of what was written in the displays.
The museum is quite large, and houses displays dating from the earliest shipbuilding in the area to modern tugboats and freighters. Of course, most of the really interesting stuff is from the earlier eras, the largest and most impressive display of those eras is the replica royal galleon of John of Austria. See my separate tip for more information and the Battle of Lepanto.
Some of the more interesting displays also centered around Verdaguer, founder of Spain's modern shipping industry. Also, there is an extensive section dealign with maps and atlases, as well as the age of discovery.
Being an ex-sailor and amateur history buff, I always find naval museums of interest. The museum in Barcelona didn't let me down in the slightest. Having been to a lot of these museums, they usually have an exhibition of maps dating from their earliest days of discovery. Seeing them always gives you an idea of how small the world must have seemed to the people of the time.
Although you don't see it illustrated here, the cartographers of the time drew what they knew, and gave free license to their imagination to pencil in what they didn't know . Hence, you often see Japan represented as large as Africa. They knew it was out there somewhere, and knew it should be represented, but had no idea where it was or how big it might be.
The entire collection is arranged in a spectacular way ; a visual story that describes some of the most important aspects of maritime history:the Sea Conquest.
If you ever was a fan of Moby Dick, this is the best place to spend few hours.The hole place smell like the sea.
The Drassanes (Royal shipyards) was built in civil gothic style between 1283-1328 as a request of Royal house of Catalonia and Aragon.For centuries this was the place where were built some of the most important boats and galleys.Inaugurated in 1941,the museum grows every years so,now it is one of the largest in the world.An impressive collection of boats,ships models,navigation instruments,paintings,documents,prow`s figureheads and above all:a life-size reproduction of the royal galley of John of Austria.
Do you like navegation and ships? then this is your place.Here you can learn everything about navegation and shipping in Catalonia and rest of country.Is located very close to the Port Vell,just behind Colon's Monument.
This museum is located near the statue of Columbus, near the Port.
Coming from the direction of the Plaça de Catalunya, walking over the Ramblas towards the port you turn to the right.
The museum is in a number of large halls and it is very interesting and wonderful, probably also because the daylight (sun!!) comes from above.
Here on this boat you see flower decorations but also THE EYE: this is here on this place for 'SAFETY" reasons.
It is something like a look out !!
Nothing wrong with a little bit of superstitiousness!
The halls are in the arches of the DRASSANAS, the Medieval Wharf.
The most important piece is the wonderful replica os LA REAL, the FLAGSHIP that participated in the BATTLE OF LEPANTO in 1571.
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