Many cultural highlights open themselves to the visitor to Barcelona. The place is awash with Museums and Art Galleries.
Anne and I have visited the Catalan capital many times, but this Tuesday, 11th September ( the Catalan National holiday) we wandered into the Barri Gòtic intending to visit the The Museum of Barcelona. Almost by a complete fluke, we found the Museu Frederic Marès. For the €3 entrance fee, what a treasure this place was.
Marès was an architect and sculptor. Throughout his long life, (1893-1991) he developed a tireless passion for collecting. The results are on five floors, including the basement.
Marès must have wandered all over Spain collecting the things. One of the exhibits is a complete Gothic stone doorway. I couldn't guess just how this was acquired or how it was carted back to Barcelona from its original location.
There are Greek and Roman sculptures and a large group of nativity figures. But my interest took off in the "Smoker's Room". It is full of pipes, tobacco tins and cigarette cards. There's even, what looked to the untrained eye, like a machine for rolling cigarettes. And no Rizla this , but a complicated machine with gears, cogs, wheels and handles, together with what looked like a place to store the cigarette papers.
The "Timepiece Room" must have contained two or three hundred pocket watches and clocks.
On the second floor, the "Ladies' Quarter" contains a equal number of knitting needles, spinning wheels and examples of the work they produced. There's a room with a collection of early cameras, projection equipment and a room entirely devoted to the shrine at Montserrat which, even for a non catholic, looks a very odd place indeed.