1. Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia
Barcelona is a very well-known city with all kinds of tourist attractions, and above all a city where art shines bright. However, there is a much more popular Barcelona―that of the Gothic and modernista periods―and another less well-known but just as captivating thanks to the Romanesque pictorial and architectural remains dating back to the 9th century, when the inhabitants of the old city―which had been a Roman town called Barcino―started to build churches and walls in the new style of the Italian Peninsula (Lombardy) and the center of the continent, such as some details that you can see on the side doors of Barcelona Cathedral, or the Pia Almoina, now Museu Diocesà, which has Romanesque windows.
You’ll find the most outstanding medieval art in museums: the Museu d'Història de Barcelona (MUHBA) holds wall paintings, while the biggest collection is in the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC). You should spend at least a whole day in MNAC to fully explore its impressive collection of sculptures, objects and paintings taken directly from Romanesque churches and moved to the museum to preserve them. But if you like walking the streets, you’ll find several Romanesque churches in the historic center: the Chapel of Santa Llúcia in the cathedral, the Chapel of Sant Llàtzer in the Raval neighborhood, the Monastery of Santa Ana or the Chapel of the Mare de Déu de la Guia in Carrer Carders. And, above all, don’t overlook the Monastery of Sant Pau del Camp to enjoy its surprising facade and original cloister.