Museu D’Historia De Barcelona - History and Facts | History Hit

Museu D’Historia De Barcelona

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

If you want to truly know the story of Barcelona, head straight for Museu D’Historia De Barcelona.

Peta Stamper

16 Apr 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Museu D’Historia De Barcelona

The Museu D’Historia De Barcelona or MUHBA is a museum in Barcelona, Spain, conserving, researching and exhibiting the city’s historical heritage from Iberian settlement to Roman times, the Visigoths and beyond.

The museum not only traces the history of the city right back to its very beginning using exhibits and artefacts, but transports you back in time with subterranean excavations of the city from Roman times.

Museu D’Historia De Barcelona history

The decision to create a museum about the history of Barcelona was prompted by the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition. When the International Exposition was held in the city in 1929, a temporary exhibition of Barcelona’s past, present and future was organised, forerunning the museum. In 1931 the Casa Padellàs, a late gothic Catalan palace constructed between 1497 and 1515, was moved stone by stone to Plaça del Rei in order to preserve it.

During the rebuilding project, remains from the ancient Roman colony Barcino were uncovered. Archaeological excavations of the surrounding area were undertaken unearthing a whole quarter of the ancient city. The site was determined to be the most fitting for the museum which was inaugurated in April 1943 by the Francoist state after the Spanish Civil War.

The museum’s core was centred around the Roman remains together with the Casa Padellàs, including the 14th century main hall and the palatine chapel of Saint Agatha and its gothic altarpiece. Gradually, the museum exhibited objects from the medieval to the 20th century, and incorporated further sites such as the Temple of Augustus and the Roman necropolis.

After the death of Franco in 1975 as democracy was reintroduced to Spain, the museum’s role was revised to become more dynamic and to provoke discussion about Barcelona’s history. The archaeological area was remodelled and updated, incorporating recent findings.

Museu D’Historia De Barcelona today

Today, climbing MUHBA’s external staircase, visitors reach a restored Roman tower and wall. Continue to stroll over the ruined streets, baths and industrial buildings of Barcelona’s Roman city, Barcino, before heading upstairs to the late 15th century gothic Grand Royal Palace of the princely Padellàs family.

At the ticket hall you will see the Saló del Tinell, the royal banqueting hall with broad arches and the place where the Catholic monarchs heard Columbus’ reports of the New World. From the office, you can head off to explore the collection of over 32,000 artefacts from throughout Barcelona’s history, toured by audioguides, before gaining admission to other MUHBA sites.

Getting to Museu D’Historia De Barcelona

The MUHBA is easily found on foot within Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. The nearest metro stop is Jaume I on L4. The closest bus stop is Via Laietana – Pl Ramon Berenguer which is a 1 minute walk from MUHBA and serves bus lines 47, 120, N8, N28, V15 and V17.