Set up in 1970, Barcelona’s collection of carriages has been displayed in the cemetery of Montjuïc since 2013. Although it might at first sound like a slightly morbid and gloomy idea for a museum, the collection of hearses is actually one of the great surprises that the city has to offer, and it’s also a unique museum of its kind in Europe.
Belonging to the ‘Cementiris de Barcelona’, the company responsible for managing the city’s cemeteries, this wonderful collection of luxury carriages totals 19 pieces – 13 horse-drawn hearses and 6 ‘carriages accompanying’, the vehicles in which the deceased’s family travelled. The collection is completed by 3 motor cars from various eras, that gradually superseded the carriages.
A plaque next to each hearse, which date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, gives more information about them in Spanish, Catalan and English. The plaques explain the history of each one, as well as their function, as each one was used for a different type of funeral. So the collection ranges from the most basic carriage, known as a ‘spider’, which was used to transport the vast majority of the deceased, to the Imperial Carriage, that was only used for burials of emperors, the bourgeoisie and great public figures. In between, there are several white carriages on display, that were reserved for the transportation of the bodies of unmarried women, children and religious figures.
The use of augmented reality (AR) in some of the information panels technology transport visitors back to mid-19th century Barcelona in order to see how the hearses were used, making the experience more lifelike.
In addition to giving a detailed history of each carriage, the museum also explains the beginnings of their uses, their evolution over the years to the present day, and there’s also a photo gallery showing some of the most high profile and important funerals to have been held in Barcelona. All this is complemented by more than 2000 themed funeral books, which make up the Museum’s library.
The collection of carriages is not just a static exhibition; we’d like to emphasise that the experience is very interactive, with guided visits that certainly complete the experience. The museum can also offer the possibility of tailored visits for school groups and institutions, and for these it’s necessary to contact the ‘Cementiris de Barcelona’ well in advance.
Despite the fact that the museum is slightly further out of the city centre and you may think that you’ll need your own car to access it, it’s also accessible by bus and of course by taxi. Once you have completed the visit, and in order to make the most of this lovely area of the city, we recommend that you take a tour of the cemetery at Montjuïc, as you’ll be able to see important mausoleums, which are in some cases true architectural wonders, where some of Barcelona’s most important figures are buried.
Book online your taxi online
c/ (street) Mare de Déu de Port 56-58, Barcelona.
Wednesdays to Sundays: from 10:00 to 14:00.
Guided visits: every Saturday at 12:00.