Frederic Marès museum Barcelona

Image by Bill Sinclair

Frederic Marès museum – Curious Curios & Crucifixes

I’ve been visiting this place since 1987 and I still can’t decide whether I love it or hate it. Why would I hate it? Well, with its regimented rows of glass cases, broken pots and coins, and very little interpretation – it reminds me of compulsory school museum visits.

And why do I love it? It has a fascinating, very extensive, collection of everyday bits and pieces and paper ephemera from the late 19th century – early 20th century.

Frederic Marès was a sculptor and an eccentric, avid collector of things – crucifixes, walking-sticks, fans, dolls, toy theatres, pipes, cigar-bands, cigarette papers, printers’ handbills, business cards, tram tickets, it goes on and on and on.

As you wander through the galleries you’ll build a fairly strong picture of the leisure preoccupations of the moneyed classes of early 20th century Barcelona.

Through the museum’s omission of any mention of working-class existence you’ll begin to understand the simmering resentments which fuelled the class struggle that climaxed with the Spanish Civil War.

I feature this spot as a location in my novel, After Goya.

Another good reason to visit this curious museum is the courtyard and café – a lovely spot to chill out in spring and summer with an iced-coffee and a good book.

FREE admission on Sundays after 3pm.

💚 Support our locals? Get our Barcelona iPhone / Android app!

Details about this spot



Plaça Sant Iu 5-6, Barcelona

Telephone number


Opening Times

Tue - Sat 10:00 - 19:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00


Admission: € 4.20


Check on Facebook

Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)