Like many other museums in Barcelona, admission to the Museum of Barcelona History is free on the first Sunday of every month and after 3 PM on all other Sundays. Otherwise, a general adult ticket costs €7 (~$7.45 USD). I went on the first Sunday of October.
The main museum headquarters is in the Gothic Quarter’s Plaça del Rei and, though it has many Roman artifacts from the ancient city of Barcino on display, most people come to see the city ruins underneath. Caesar Agustus founded the Roman city between 15 and 11 BC, but the archaeological remains are dated between the 1st and 6th centuries AD and were excavated between 1930 and 1960.
Much of the ruins that are available to view are comprised of artisanal workshops and religious buildings. There is a large, rectangular vat that was used to wash laundry and a smaller tank used for dyeing fabrics, with traces of Egyptian/Pompeii blue found in the dyeing trough. There is also a cold water pool that was left over from when baths were built over some of the older workshops.
A little further down were remains of a wine workshop and some cracked dolia, large ceramic vessels that were used to prepare and store a fermented fish sauce called garum.
As far as the religious buildings go, there are some foundations of a church and necropolis as well as an octagon-shaped baptismal pool.
There is an area devoted to facts about how Barcino eventually became known as Barcinona and turned into the center of Visigoth power. It was a little bit of an information-overload, so if you are really curious about that history, you can probably find out about it online. The rest of the museum has a few more artifacts, but when I visited, many of the things showcased that were not in the archaeological remains area didn’t have descriptions with English translations.
The museum only covers a small portion of Barcelona’s vast history, though there are other MUHBA locations around the city that include Barcelona’s Jewish quarter and an air-raid shelter from the Spanish Civil War. So much to learn about Barcelona, so little time.
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