Museu d'Història de la Ciutat

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Museu d'Història de la Ciutat

This fascinating museum just off Plaça del Rei traces Barcelona's evolution from its first Iberian settlement through its Roman and Visigothic ages and beyond. Antiquity is the focus here: the Romans took the city during the Punic Wars, and the striking underground remains of their Colonia Favencia Julia Augusta Paterna Barcino (Favored Colony of the Father Julius Augustus Barcino), through which you can roam on metal walkways, are the museum's main treasure. Archaeological finds include the walls of houses, mosaics and fluted columns, and workshops (for pressing olive oil and salted fish paste), marble busts, and funerary urns. Especially fascinating is to see how the Visgoths and their descendents built the early medieval walls on top of these ruins, recycling whatever came to hand: chunks of Roman stone and concrete, bits of columns—even headstones. The price of admission to the museum includes entry to the other treasures of the Plaça del Rei, including the Palau Reial Major, the splendid Saló del Tinell, and the chapel of Santa Àgata.

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