The building was erected for the 1929 World Exhibition and used as a museum starting 1934. The collection consists largely of painting from the Middle Ages to modern times. The Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya has a very extensive collection, which also includes coins, sculptures and furniture. The Catalonian National Museum forms the end of a monumental axis, at the end of an enormous staircase. The museum is illuminated at night and is one of the most striking buildings in Barcelona.
The founder of the Antoni Tapies Foundation came from a publisher dynasty of Barcelona and opened the Fundacion Tapies in 1990, in a former publishing house. The works of the collection also come from Tapies, who has been active as an artist since the 1940s. The installation on the roof of the house, "Cloud and Chair", was also created by him.
The Natural History Museum of Barcelona "Museu Blau" is dedicated to the origin of life and offers temporary exhibitions on other topics from the field of science. The museum is located by the sea, at the end of the Avinguda Diagonal. The Museu Blau is architecturally interesting as well, it was designed by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, who also planned the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and other great structures around the world.