The National Museum of Science and Industry of Catalonia – a key point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage

The National Museum of Science and Industry of Catalonia (cat. El Museu de la Ciència i de la Tècnica de Catalunya, mNACTEC) – a key point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage.

The mNACTEC is one of the three national museums of Catalonia according to the Museums Act (Law 17/1990 of 2 November), and depends on the Department of Culture of the Generalitat de Catalunya.

The museum’s headquarters are in Terrassa (Vallès Occidental), in an old textile factory on the Rambla d’Ègara: the Vapor Aymerich, Amat and Jover. The building, designed by the architect Lluís Muncunill and built between 1907 and 1908, is considered one of the main examples of modernist industrial architecture in Catalonia. The old industrial spaces of the textile factory are still preserved and are one of the main attractions of the museum.

In addition to its headquarters in Terrassa, the museum has three locations: the Asland Cement Museum in Castellar de n’Hug, the Sedó d’Esparreguera Colony Museum and the Farga Palau in Ripoll.

MNACTEC articulates the mNACTEC Territorial System, a network of 26 museums and heritage spaces to get to know and interpret industrialization in Catalonia.

The idea to create a museum of science and technology in Catalonia appeared at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1937, the Republican Generalitat, in response to this old Catalan aspiration, published an order to create the Museum. The Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship of General Franco halted the project, which remained forgotten until the 70s of the twentieth century.

Steam engine of the old textile factory

In 1976, the Association of Industrial Engineers of Catalonia regained the initiative to found a museum of science and technology and, in 1979, they formed the Association of the Museum of Science and Technology and Industrial Archeology of Catalonia with the initiative to join forces for the creation of the Museum and preserve the assets of the industrial heritage.

In 1981, the Department of Culture of the Generalitat de Catalunya took over the project and in 1983 it bought the Aymerich, Amat and Jover factory to turn it into the museum’s headquarters and in 1984 it opened the factory to the public. The Museums Act of November 2, 1990, declared it a National Museum and constituted it as an autonomous entity. In 1996 the first permanent exhibition was inaugurated and the restoration works of the main nave of the building were completed.

Collections and exhibitions

The mNACTEC collections bring together more than 20,000 scientific, technical and industrial objects (production goods and consumer goods). The Museum is preferably interested in objects designed or manufactured in Catalonia, but also in those that have had an impact on Catalan society or that have represented an advance in a certain technology.

The areas represented in the mNACTEC collections are the following: household appliances, graphic arts, computing, electronics and telecommunications, energy, science, experimentation and measurement, medicine, productive sectors and services, audiovisual technologies, transport and others.

The Museum’s exhibitions show only 10% of the objects in the collections; the rest of the pieces are preserved in the mNACTEC reserve rooms, which occupy approximately 7,000m² and are divided into three different spaces: two of the reserve rooms are located in the same Museum, in Terrassa, and the third is located in an industrial building in Cervera (la Segarra).

The two internal reserves retain about 17,000 small pieces. A thousand objects are preserved in the reserves of Cervera, most of which are large pieces and tonnage, such as steam engines, textile machinery, graphic arts, hydroelectric generation, and various means of transport.

Permanent exhibitions

“The Textile Factory”: shows the whole process of making woollen fabrics in the original context of a factory of the early twentieth century.

“Energy”: a journey through the different sources of energy.

“The enigma of the computer”: one of the most important computer collections in Europe and the most complete in Catalonia.

“Viva Montesa”: a journey through the history of the Catalan brand of Montesa motorcycles through 67 motorcycles, three bicycles and two engines from the Pere Permanyer Collection.

“Transport”: a collection of cars and trucks, engines, planes, motorcycles and bicycles that allows a journey through the history of transport from its beginnings to the present day.

“The Human Body. How Am I?”: An exhibition aimed at children that introduces the human body and how it works from an interactive point of view.

“Homo Faber”: exhibition that shows the evolution of science and technology from the Neolithic revolution to the beginnings of industrialization.

“Lluís Muncunill, architecture for industry”: exhibition dedicated to the figure of Lluís Muncunill (1868-1931), architect of Vapor Aymerich, Amat i Jover, headquarters of mNACTEC, and a reference in the industrial architecture of Terrassa.

“EVERYTHING IS CHEMISTRY”: publicize the contribution of chemistry to today’s quality of life.

“Terrassa Public Water Mine”: exhibition to learn about the arrival of water in the town of Terrassa.

“LHC: Exploring the Origins of the Universe”: Exhibition to bring the public closer to particle physics and the origin of the universe.

Opening hours and prices

Winter opening hours (from September 16 to June 14)
Tuesday to Friday 09:00 to 18:00
Saturdays from 10:00 to 14:30 and from 16:30 to 20:30
Sundays and public holidays from 10:00 to 14:30
Closed on Mondays

Exceptionally, on 24 and 31 December, 5 January and Holy Thursday the Museum is open from 10 to 14.30 h.

Summer opening hours (From June 15 to September 15)
Tuesday to Sunday and publick holidays, 10:00 to 14:30

Closed

Every Monday (except during the Festa Major de Terrassa)
1 and 6 January and 25 and 26 December

The Museum has capacity for 2,958 visitors.
The Museum rooms must be vacated 15 minutes before closing time.

Standard entrance €6

Reduced entrance €4
• Over 65s
• Pensioners
• Carnet Jove cardholders
• Students with international student card
• Holders of documentation for large or single-parent families
• Non-tourist groups of 10 people or more with a prior reservation. If the group or any o dits membres are entitled to free entrance they can continue to enjoy this discount
• People from 16 to 25
• Families (2 adults and one child or more)

Address: Rambla d’Ègara, 270, 08221 Terrassa
Tel. 93 736 89 66

Coordinates: 41.5651°N 2.0053°E

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