This term they are exploring the culture and history of Barcelona and Catalonia, from the Roman and medieval influence on the city to more recent developments such as the building of the Eixample and the 1992 Olympic Games. They are also looking at a range of Catalan festivals and the sporting and artistic traditions of the region, as well as some of the folk tales and stories of Catalonia.
Therefore, the visit to the Museu d’Història de Catalunya fulfilled most of the goals of the term’s topic all at once, as it is the main centre for research, conservation and dissemination of the archaeological, historical and ethnological heritage of Catalonia.
First, the students had a guided tour of the museum during which the guides explained and discussed the history of Catalonia from pre-history through to the Romans. This enabled the children to learn new things about Roman life, ask questions to the guide and experience some artefacts first hand, such a Roman catapult, which they loved. It was also an excellent opportunity to create a link to the Autumn term’s topic, based on the Stone Age, and reflect on that learning in order to develop strong connections between Neolithic Catalonia and the Roman times.
“This is the first time that we have done this trip in Year 3 and it was really a worthwhile experience for the students”, Ms Lowe, Year 3 teacher, said.
About the Museu d’Història de Catalunya
The Museu d’Història de Catalunya, set in the Palau de Mar in Barcelona, opened in 1996 “to conserve, exhibit and make known the history of Catalonia as a collective heritage and to strengthen the citizens’ sense of identification with the history of the nation” (as its mission reads).
Though the museum is essentially about Catalonia, it presents Catalan history and culture within broader geographical, political, economic and cultural settings, often the Mediterranean or Europe, sometimes the world.
It is designed to be a space for intercultural encounter and exchange; a forum, a centre for cultural action as well as a museum, thus encouraging interaction between history and the other social sciences, while also taking an interest in our own times.