MACBA – Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art | Barcelona Bus Turístic

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MACBA – Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art

The soul of the new Raval district

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A large museum in glass and white aluminium that fills the Raval district with light and houses works from the middle of the 20th century to the present day. The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) is the culmination of two dreams: bringing together contemporary art collections in a single space in the style of New York’s MoMA and equipping the Raval district with light, air, public spaces and a heart.

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With just one ticket, enjoy the three routes of the Barcelona Bus Turístic, getting on and off the bus as many times as you like.

Why visit the MACBA?

In addition to being a museum of contemporary art, the MACBA is an impressive building by the architect Richard Meier, who opened up an open-plan and well-lit space covering some 14,000 m² in a district of Barcelona full of tradition and history. Meier himself stated that the Raval was at its lowest point when, in the late 1980s, the Mayor of Barcelona, Pasqual Maragall, asked him to build a museum to be the central element of the master plan for the renovation of the Raval district, which also included the renovation of the Casa de la Caritat almshouse and its transformation into the current CCCB.

Meier’s modern, Rationalist building, declared a Museum of National Interest by the Government of Catalonia, was inaugurated in 1995 in Plaça dels Àngels, opposite the tranquil Gothic structure of the Convent dels Àngels. The sombre tones of the convent contrast with the lightness of the museum, which is constructed in white aluminium, glass, metal and reflective elements. Meier also designed the new Plaça dels Àngels as a large open space that fuses with the museum through the use of ramps and skylights.

The MACBA’s collection of contemporary art takes you on a journey that starts with the material abstraction of the 1950s before moving on to European pop art and the avant-gardes of the 1960s and 1970s, the centrality of the word and poetic experience, the return of photographic figuration and the anti-minimalist sculpture of the 1980s and ends with the arrival of the youngest creators. Its collection holds works by leading local artists likes Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies, Joan Brossa, Joan Ponç, the Dau al Set collective, Josep Maria Subirachs, Jaume Plensa and Miquel Barceló. It also contains works by national and international artists, particularly from Latin American and Eastern European countries, with works from the Equipo Crónica collective, Jorge Oteiza, Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Gordon Matta-Clark and Jean-Michel Basquiat, among many others, in addition to pieces by artists from North Africa, the Middle East and the Arab world.


How do you get to the MACBA?

With the Blue Route of Barcelona Bus Turístic you can hop off at the Plaça de Catalunya stop to visit two of Barcelona’s most important contemporary culture centres.


For the most curious of you

  • Did you know? The then Mayor of Barcelona, Pasqual Maragall, met Richard Meier in a debate at the World Economic Forum in Davos. When asked by the mayor about what type of building he would like to design for Olympic Barcelona, Meier said a museum. Some months later, Maragall commissioned him to undertake the MACBA project.
  • Local’s tip: The large Plaça dels Àngels, with its long museum entrance ramps, is a paradise for Barcelona’s skaters.
  • A must: To start your visit to the revamped Raval district.