The Maritime Museum’s collections are extremely rich and varied. They include pieces ranging from a ship that still sails to a postal stamp, or from a steam engine to a 14th-century manuscript. Of course, they also include everything you expect to find in a maritime museum: binnacles, anchors, model ships, navigational tools, etc. In other words, all sorts of documents and objects from the miniscule to the huge, from all different periods and made of all sorts of materials. For decades, the Museum has gathered examples of the maritime past, a heritage that reminds us of the lives of seafarers, the histories of ships and maritime activities in peacetime or war.
We would like to offer a selection of objects and documents that are notable for their historical interest, their rarity or their aesthetic value. These can give you a general idea of the content of the Museum’s collection. However, do not forget that there is a great deal beyond this selection, with thousands of artefacts and documents that you can discover using our search engine or other resources.
We encourage you to take a stroll through some of the key pieces in our Museum’s collection, grouped into twelve categories to help you keep your bearings.
Portrait of Narcís MonturiolUnderwater navigation
Oil on canvas portrait of Narcís Monturiol in 1863 by Ramón Martí Alsina.
Narcís Monturiol i Estarriol (Figueres 1819-Sant Martí de Provençals 1885). Studied in Cervera and Barcelona, where he obtained a law degree. Exiled to the town of Cadaqués because of his political activity, he made a living as a painter following the recommendation of his friend Ramón Martí Alsina. Monturiol made several oil paintings based on the advice Alsina sent him by mail.
In Cadaqués, Monturiol also worked on a project involving the construction of an underwater vessel. With the collaboration of Josep Missé (a shipbuilder), Joan Monjo (technical director of the construction and author of the general blueprints) and Damas Calvet (engineer), the construction of the first prototype, the Ictíneo I or Vaixell-Peix, began in 1858 at Talleres Nuevo Volcano in La Barceloneta. In 1864, Monturiol founded the society La Navegación Submarina and built the steam-powered Ictíneo II, but the company, too far ahead of its time, failed.