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Royal Shipyard and Maritime Museum of Barcelona

Located at the foot of Montjuïc, right by the Mediterranean and guarded by Christopher Columbus Monument, the historic building of the Royal Shipyard of Barcelona nowadays houses the Maritime Museum of Barcelona. Today, this building is one of the few medieval architecture on its type preserved worldwide. Of great beauty, its origin must be sought in the 13th and 14th centuries, when the Crown of Aragon began its Mediterranean adventure towards Balearics, Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily.

The building, a real maritime cathedral, occupies a total of 18.000m² in a succession of Gothic naves underpinned by pillars, where master carpenters, shipwrights and caulkers worked to give life to the galley fleet that sailed from Barcelona across all the Mediterranean.

The most admired and valuable treasure of the Maritime Museum is the real size reproduction of the Royal Galley of Don John of Austria. Built in Barcelona, this galley captained the Christian squad of the Holy League against the Ottoman Empire in the famous battle of Lepanto in 1571. It occupies the entire central nave of the shipyards, with its 60 meters long and 6.2 meters wide. His crew battle was of 400 men, 236 of them were rowers. Neptune riding a dolphin adorns its figurehead, and a triple lantern symbolizing Faith, Hope and Charity decorates the stern.

The Maritime Museum is the mirror that reflects the great adventure of man at sea, thanks to its collection of over 6,600 pieces, the largest in southern Europe. Barcelona has grown for centuries facing the Mediterranean, and the Maritime Museum is the starting point of a journey full of surprises, to learn about small stories of sailors, fishermen, pirates and traders who, together, make us better understand this relationship so close between man and the sea.

The arrival of Europeans to America and the relations established between the two continents deserve special attention in the museum. Scale models of the three ships of Christopher Columbus' first trip introduce us into a space designed to carry us to one of the boats to the Americas.

The space devoted to the first world tour of Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastián Elcano has a model of Victoria, the only ship that concluded the epic travel. With maps, charts and instruments, we may be partakers of the extraordinary process that culminated in the nineteenth fully and offered the image of the world that we still have today.

The museum also displays an extensive collection of models of all types of vessels: galleons, frigates, corvettes, brigs, schooners or polacres, not forgetting the great steam ocean liners.

  • Royal Shipyard and Maritime Museum
    Av. Drassanes s/n
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