Even if you can't tell a caravel from a catamaran, the excellent Maritime Museum is worth a visit, as the soaring arches and vaults of the vast former 'drassanes' (shipyards) represent one the most perfectly preserved examples of civil Gothic architecture in Spain. In medieval times, the shipyards sat right on the water's edge and were used to dry-dock, repair and build vessels for the royal fleets. The finest of these was Don Juan de Austria's galley, from which he commanded the fleet at Lepanto that defeated the Ottoman navy in 1571: a full-scale replica is the mainstay of the collection.
With the aid of an audio guide, the maps, mastheads, nautical instruments, multimedia displays and models show you how shipbuilding and navigation techniques have developed over the years. The admission fee also covers the beautiful 1917 'Santa Eulàlia' schooner docked nearby in the Moll de la Fusta, and the Maritime often has some interesting temporary exhibitions.
|Venue name:||Museu Marítim de Barcelona|
Av. de les Drassanes s/n
|Opening hours:||Daily 10am-8pm (last entry at 7pm). Closed Dec 25, 26, Jan 1, 6. Dec 24, 31 closes at 3pm.|
|Transport:||Drassanes (M: L3)|
|Price:||€10 general entry; €5 reduced; free under-7s. Free entry on Sunday after 3pm. Temporary exhibitions vary|