From city museum to Citizenship Museum

01/03/2023 - 07:00 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The MUHBA is being reconverted in the year of its 80th anniversary, with the inauguration of eight refurbished or enlarged venues and the opening of strategic exhibitions to rethink Barcelona.


A new phase for the Museum of History of Barcelona (MUHBA). In 2023, coinciding with its 80th anniversary, it will undergo a conceptual and organisational change, a reconversion into a Museum of Citizenship. Along these lines, in the coming months, up to eight MUHBA sites will be inaugurated, refurbished or extended at different levels, as well as their museographies. Of particular note is the MUHBA Padellàs, from now on the new House of the History of Barcelona, a real meeting point for telling the history of the city to the neighbourhood and the visiting public, analysing the present and imagining the future. And also the MUHBA Bon Pastor, on the Besòs heritage and museum axis, which is the city’s housing museum and one of the few in Europe. The MUHBA Bon Pastor has been created in close collaboration with the residents of Bon Pastor and Baró de Viver, and shows the challenge of housing in Barcelona in the 20th century and its evolution through the restored space of four cheap houses in one of the city’s first housing estates.

To commemorate eight decades of history, the museum will open different strategic exhibitions to rethink the city, such as those on water and the environment, housing and neighbourhoods, the world of work and mobility. In the case of the MUHBA Padellàs, the exhibitions Barcelona Flashback, a historical synthesis and Domènech i Montaner urbanist will be inaugurated as part of the Domènech i Montaner Year. The first will be a permanent exhibition with 150 objects that aims to promote methodological training in the knowledge of the city. Its initial space is configured as a series of mirrors that enclose the visitor in the midst of images of the city throughout the 20th century and invite him or her to “pass through the mirror”. From here, the exhibition sets out on a journey in five sections, presided over by questions, in search of a well-articulated historiographical expression of the city’s trajectory, with a tone that is more interrogative than assertive. Three other exhibition spaces will revolve around Barcelona flashback, an urban synthesis: Mirador del barrio Gòtic, with a reflection on the nature of heritage as a contemporary construct; The history of the history museum, a small exhibition to make explicit the perspective from which we speak; and The monographic space, with temporary exhibitions such as the one dedicated to the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

Continuing in the MUHBA Padellàs, on the ground floor will be the agora museum, designed as an open public space for information about the city to promote new ways of getting to know it, and also the school museum, while on the upper floor, in addition to the Mirador, will be the spaces dedicated to study and its public manifestations in different formats, with a layout that will allow the archive library to merge with the activity of academic and citizen impulse in research. The virtual MUHBA, with technologies based on both laser scanning and photogrammetry, will make it possible to obtain multidimensional representations with laser scanning technology that will allow both architectural and conservation work, heritage and museum exhibitions and the creation of new uses for the space.

The MUHBA will also present a full programme of historiographical renewal this year, with a historical atlas of the city and more than 15 publications of new research on the key themes of Barcelona’s history. And that between 3 and 6 May it will host the EMYA 2023 Awards (European Museum Forum and Council of Europe), with the expected attendance of more than thirty European delegations.

More information about the MUHBA in this link.