Barcelona's science museum, which includes a planetarium and an Amazon rain forest, is housed in a Modernista building now dedicated to modern science, a perfect match that has turned it into a city landmark. It is much more than a museum, because visiting it turns out to be a whole experience.
CosmoCaixa, Barcelona's science museum, is housed in a Modernista building dating from 1909 that was designed by the architect Josep Domènech i Estapà. Initially it was a home for the blind, the Empar de Santa Llúcia, which closed in 1979. Two years later the first popular science museum in the whole of Spain and one of the best in Europe, opened there. This was an innovative idea for taking science to the public.
Following a refurbishment in 2004 that expanded the museum's facilities to the current 50,000 square metres, it was renamed CosmoCaixa and is known by that name today.
A place to enjoy
Museum highlights include the Planetarium, which offers an extraordinary space voyage, travelling though time to the stars and planets; the Geological Wall, consisting of seven large cuts of real rock for geological interpretation; the Matter Room, where you can become a scientist and set the limits to physics; and the Flooded Forest, which recreates an Amazonian ecosystem including animal and plant species from that part of the world. To create this exhibition, scientists travelled to the Brazilian state of Pará to make exact moulds and faithful reproductions of the large trees and plants that grow there.
CosmoCaixa represents a real challenge to the senses and it is one of the best leisure options in the city, designed for young and old alike. Housed in a landmark building, it has put Modernisme at the service of the most modern science.
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