The Maritime Museum is dedicated to maritime culture with more than 80 years of history. Its mission is to preserve, study and disseminate the country’s maritime heritage, one of the richest in the Mediterranean. In 2006, the Maritime Museum of Barcelona was declared a Museum of National Interest.
The Barcelona Maritime Museum is housed in the former installations of the city’s medieval shipyards (the Drassanes) from the 13th century, where part of Barcelona’s medieval wall is still preserved. It is a museum that conquers us from the moment we arrive. A block away from the Ramblas muvuca, it welcomes us in silence, in a delightful garden covered with orange trees, where an 18th century submarine, a steamboat control cabin and other irresistible nautical “toys” are on display.
The museum displays models of different types of ships, as well as parts of old ships, machines, old nautical objects, films and interactive exhibits. The permanent collection of the Maritime Museum of Barcelona is extensive: medieval nautical charts, replicas of ships, navigational instruments… The big star is a life-size (huge) replica of the royal fleet used by the Armada of Castile in the Battle of Lepanto. Some temporary exhibitions complete the pleasure of the visit.
The construction of the shipyard began at the end of the 13th century by order of King Peter II the Great, who wanted to create a space outside the city walls, guarded by four towers, which would be open to the sea on one side. It was to allow the construction of a fleet for the military and commercial expansion of Catalonia and Aragon. Ships were built and repaired in the shipyard; warships, slave ships and tools and weapons were built here.
The structure of the building is maintained in the Catalan Gothic style, but over the centuries many modifications have been made to it, in which practicality has prevailed over architectural appeal. The aim was to create as much space as possible for work. In one of the last major conversions carried out in 1723, the two central corridors were merged into one large corridor to allow for the construction of large ships.
The most frequently built ships were those for the transport of slaves used for commercial and military purposes. One of the largest ships built here was the Galera Real, built in 1568, which fought in the naval battle of Lepanto in 1571. Today, in the museum you can see a reproduction of this ship: Grada Mayor.
The building was used as a shipyard until the first half of the 18th century. Later it was used mainly for military purposes: the construction of weapons and artillery. This was the case until 1935, when the army entrusted the management of the building to the city. In 1936, despite the ongoing civil war, the Maritime Museum inaugurated its activities here and since then it has been a space dedicated to maritime culture.
After a complete reconstruction, the museum opened its treasures to the public in 1941.
How to get to the Maritime Museum
Museum opening hours: daily from 10:00 to 20:00 (the library is open from 12:00 to 17:30, Monday to Friday).
Opening hours of the schooner Santa Eulalia: Tuesday to Friday, 12:00 to 17:30 and Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 to 17:30.
Admission: 10 euros, with the right to also visit the Escuna Santa Eulália. To see only the boat, the price is 3 euros.
Avinguda de les Drassanes, s/n – Port Vell, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
The nearest metro station is the Drassanes metro station on line 3 (green).
bus: lines 14, 18, 36, 38, 57, 59, 64 and 91