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Casa de la Pia Almoina–Museu Diocesà (Diocesan Museum)
Casa de la Pia Almoina–Museu Diocesà (Diocesan Museum) Review
This 11th-century Gothic almshouse, now a museum, once served soup to 100 of the city's poor, hence its popular name, Pia Almoina (pious alms). Along with temporary art exhibits, the museum houses a permanent collection of religious sculptures and a potpourri of liturgical paraphernalia, from monstrances to chalices to the 12th-century paintings from the apse of the Sant Salvador de Polinyà chapel. Anyone beginning a tour of the Roman walls should take a look at the excellent relief map/scale model of Roman Barcelona (map and model are sold in the nearby Museu d'Història de la Ciutat, the city history museum) in the vestibule. Inside, Roman stones are clearly visible in this much-restored structure, the only octagonal tower of the 82 that ringed the 4th-century Barcino. Look for the Romanesque Mares de Deu (Mothers of God) wood sculptures, such as the one from Sant Pau del Camp church in Barcelona's Raval. The museum is behind the massive floral iron grate in the octagonal Roman watchtower to the left of the stairs of the Catedral de la Seu.
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