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July 25: Palau Nacional 1

The grand Palau Nacional, designed by Eugenio Cendoya and Enric Catà, was the hub of Barcelona's 1929 International Exposition. Since 1934 it has housed the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (formerly just the Museu d'Art de Catalunya).

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An intense one-point perspective on the diagonal approach.

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The Palau tops a magnificent axial view cascading down the northwest slope of Montjuïc, past the Font Màgica, along the Av. Reina Maria Christina, and ending at the Plaça d'Espanya. Note that Tibidabo is nearly on axis as well.

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Sun stairs.

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The front portico.

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Between 1992 and 2004 the Palau was renovated and expanded; the interior now comprises an engaging mixture of old and new architecture, including complex semi-open spaces like this.

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Looking across the oval Great Hall.

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At the edge of the Great Hall, a sandwiched stair.

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Old through new along the southern edge of the Great Hall.

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Changes in level add a great deal of interest here.

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Diagonal roofs over diagonal ascents.

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Stair slices.

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The Principal Dome with frescos by Francesc d'Assís Galí.

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I like my Principal Domes like I like my home planets: round and mostly blue.

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Back in the Great Hall, these stepped interior skylights ring the edge.

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These elevators are kind of overly chunky for their prominence in the space, but at least they're simple in form and color.

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The central void of the Great Hall and the organ at the west end. The organ contains over four thousand pipes. How is that even possible to design.

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The center of the extremely coffered Great Hall ceiling. Further structural restoration was underway at the Palau at this point.

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These additional seats were also part of the renovations. I wonder why slots run directly underneath all the seats, and how much stuff has been dropped into them.