Casa de la Pia Almoina–Museu Diocesà

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Casa de la Pia Almoina–Museu Diocesà

This 11th-century Gothic building, now a museum, once served soup to the city's poor; hence its popular name, the "House of Pious Alms." The museum houses a permanent collection of religious sculpture and liturgical paraphernalia, from monstrances to chalices to the 12th-century paintings from the apse of the Sant Salvador de Polinyà chapel; there are also occasional temporary art exhibits. Anyone contemplating a tour of the Roman walls should consult the excellent relief map/scale model of Roman Barcelona in the vestibule (copies of the map and model are for sale in the nearby Museu d'Història de la Ciutat, the Museum of the History of the City). Inside, Roman stones are clearly visible in this much-restored structure, the only octagonal tower of the 82 that ringed 4th-century Barcino. Look for the Romanesque Mares de Deu (Mothers of God) wood sculptures, such as the one from Sant Pau del Camp church in Barcelona's El Raval. The museum is behind the massive floral iron grate in the octagonal Roman watchtower to the left of the stairs of the Catedral de la Seu.

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