Palau Nacional, the icon of Montjuic
Montjuïc has one of the most iconic views of the city: The Palau Nacional. This building contains the Catalan National Museum (MNAC) and is very well known around the city for the big city lights that can be seen during the evenings.
The palace was designed by the architects Eugenio Cendoya and Enric Catà as the main building of the World fair in 1929. It was intended to be a symbol of the cultural and artistic achievements of Catalonia, and it was built in the style of Spanish Renaissance architecture. The palace was built in just two years and it was inaugurated in 1929 by King Alfonso XIII of Spain.
The building was the main pavilion built for the World Fair of Barcelona of 1929. The opening ceremony, chaired by the king Alfonso XIII, took place in its oval room, to this day still used for public events.
After the exposition, the palace was converted into the National Art Museum of Catalonia and it was used to house a collection of artworks, primarily from the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods. During the Spanish Civil War, the palace was used as a prison and it was badly damaged. After the war, it was renovated and it was reopened as a museum in 1948.
In the following years, the palace was used for different purposes, mainly as a venue for exhibitions and cultural events. Nowadays, it is the home of the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), which houses an extensive collection of Catalan art. The palace has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years, but it still maintains its original architectural style.
Overall, the Palau Nacional has a rich history and it is an important architectural and cultural landmark in Barcelona. It was built as a symbol of the cultural and artistic achievements of Catalonia and it has served as a venue for exhibitions, cultural events and as a home for the National Art Museum of Catalonia.