19 December 2017

Spain 3.0: Museu-Monestir de Pedralbes

After dropping off my luggage, the first thing I visited was the Monastery of Pedralbes. One of Barcelona's most sacred sites, this monastery is located on the hill overlooking Barcelona, and I needed to take a bus to get there. This is a Gothic monastery, which now functions as a museum.

The monastery is actually located in a section of town that looks unlike the surrounding area. It is located in the neighborhood of Pedralbes, in the district of Les Corts, and judging from what I saw during my bus ride, this is slightly more suburban, with fancy villas and large mansions. However, in the midst of them all is a small enclave of old houses and other buildings, as seen in my photos above. In here is the monastery.

The pictures above show you the peaceful cloister, where nuns used to inhabit. Nowadays it is a museum housing collections from Catalan history. And surprisingly, there aren't a lot of visitors. It still retains the monastic feel to it, which is great. The monastery was founded by James II of Aragon, apparently for his wife, Elisenda of Montcada. This was back in 1326, and the age definitely shows in the architecture.

The cloister is lined with interesting pieces, all of them from the 1300s. You see chapels and altars, as well as fading fresco paintings. All of them in various states of aging.

And finally, there is an interior exhibition area, devoted to Gothic religious art from Catalonia. It is interesting to see these pieces, at the same time reflect on how art has changed during the years. Back then, art cannot be profane, and most artists are remembered for their religious depictions. Nowadays, art can be abstract, and can be massive brain candy.


  1. It's always funny from my North American perspective to see how different all these European countries here. I mean, I know it, as a former European... but the different is striking in your travelogues!

    1. Zhu,

      There can be a lot of contrast in Europe, but I think North America is the same, it is just less obvious so to speak! The sad thing is that native North American culture can be very contrastive, yet unfortunately a lot of that was erased by the immigrants from Europe.