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.
Ex-voto from the Hermitage of Nostra Senyora de La CisaEx-votos
Painted ex-voto from the Hermitage of Nostra Senyora de la Cisa, in Premià de Dalt, representing the religiousness of seafarers. With this offering, a group of slave traffickers give thanks to God for having escaped the British Navy, which pursued the slave trade. In the 16th and 17th centuries, millions of Africans were kidnapped and brought to the European colonies to be exploited as slaves. This business created great fortunes, even after the slave trade was abolished and pursued.
This painted ex-voto was offered by slave ship captains who had escaped the authorities and had been able to unload their human wares. The text reads “DNVRC Bayhano Ex-voto from Ventura Riera, Today October 22nd, 1846, in the falucho Bayhano, its captain DBVR at the 2nd DGV, the 3rd DMS in latitude 5° 56′ N and longitude 10° 12′ E of the meridian of Cadiz and at 8 in the morning, an English naval steamship was seen at a distance of 14 miles, wind NW and we realized it was pursuing us. It was within view all day, at 6 in the afternoon with little wind, the steamship was at a distance of about two miles. Its starboard wheel broke and an hour later the wind began to favour us, and under the cover of darkness we were able to escape such an invincible adversary”.