The Unique Spaces of the Museu Nacional
The Palau Nacional (National Palace) in Montjuïc is, without doubt, one of Barcelona’s most emblematic buildings. Since its opening in 1929 to mark the International Exhibition and its subsequent conversion into a museum, it has been the setting for numerous events that have impacted public life in Barcelona, many of which were linked to the 1992 Olympic Games. And it wishes to remain an important stage.
It houses the Museu Nacional, a world-class museum and one of the city’s major attractions, with an exceptional collection of Romanesque and Gothic art and an extensive body of Modernisme art, a movement strongly entrenched in early 20th-century Barcelona.
The museum’s rich collection, the exceptional nature of the building and its location, its stunning views over Barcelona, its dominance over the entrance to Montjuïc and its position between the two exhibition palaces have created a unique setting for a wide range of events organised by associations, companies, institutions and even individuals. The Palau Nacional seems to have been custom-made for gala dinners, opening and closing ceremonies for conferences, concerts, presentations and award ceremonies.
The Museu Nacional houses a unique series of spaces, including the spectacular Oval Room, one of Europe’s largest events rooms. Of particular note are its immense dome, which lets in natural light, and the organ, which is 34 metres long and 11 metres high and dominates the room from the balcony. This large multipurpose space, which was restored to modern standards by Italian architect Gae Aulenti, was ths scene of the opening ceremony of the 1929 International Exhibition.
Other intriguing spaces include the Museu Nacional entrance itself, the dome, the Òleum restaurant in the old throne room, the terraces, the auditoriums and the Sert Room. The Museu Nacional is a highly versatile venue, with spaces accommodating between 35 and 1,400 people.
A Window onto Barcelona
The Museu Nacional has remodelled more than 1,200 m2 of the roof. It has opened two terraces, viewpoints that provide a new setting for events such as cocktail receptions and outdoor concerts or simply for enjoying the Magic Fountain light show by night. Direct access to the roof from the street means that it can be used outside museum opening hours.
The front viewpoint that looks over Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina and the viewpoint overlooking the gardens of the Palauet Albéniz provide a 360-degree panorama of the city that takes in the key buildings and monuments of the Barcelona skyline, including the Sagrada Família, the Torre Agbar, the buildings of the Olympic Village, the port and the Olympic ring.
Treasures Great and Small
The museum’s Friends and Benefactors Room, decorated with paintings by Josep Maria Sert, is a privileged setting. This room is available as an additional private and exclusive space, ideal for use as a VIP or function room. It is noted for its 6-metre decorative panels painted by Josep Maria Sert to decorate the ballroom of the mansion belonging to Sir Philip Sassoon, an important figure in 1920s British high society.
Another attractive option is to reserve the Museu Nacional exclusively in order to admire, along with an expert, works not normally seen by the public, pieces that are not exhibited in the permanent collection, and learn about how they are stored, studied and preserved.