The National Palace (Palau Nacional) was built in 1929, but it is not until 1934 that the building was transformed into a museum, creating the MNAC (The National Museum of Catalan Art). Originally the building was constructed as an exhibition hall for the Worlds Fair in 1929, but Barcelona needed a larger museum to house several collections and so it was decided to .
MNAC has an excellent art collection, including the collection of romanesque art, a collection of Art Nouveau (in Catalan modernisme) and a newer collection from the Thyessen-Bornamizsa Museum in Madrid.
One of the most important collections is the one displaying Catalan Gothic art. Its works of art stem from the Catalan territories Barcelona, Aragon and Valencia.
The collection may not be as impressive as the Romanesque art collection (which is the finest collection of "primitive" murals in Europe) but there is a nice link between the two collections, which can be usefully viewed in relation to each other.
The picture above shows a peice of one of the main works at MNAC - San Augustine's Sacrifice. It took a whole 22 years to complete the painting. The painting is part of an altarpiece coming from the former church of San Augusti Vell. It shows San Augustine (354-430), one of the church fathers, known foremost for his work Confessions (400 AD).