CosmoCaixa is a large and interesting museum in Barcelona, Spain. The museum covers an area of over 322,000 square feet and holds a number of interactive exhibitions which are mainly focused on nature, environment, science and space. There is also a planetarium.
The museum is sponsored by one of Spain’s top financial institutions and savings bank, La Caixa. Besides the museum, the building has a bookstore, library, teaching center, gift shop and café. The building itself is attractive and most visitors will be impressed by the architecture.
History and Architecture
The building is a good example of Modernista architecture. It was designed and constructed between 1904 and 1909 by Catalan architect Josep Domènech i Estapà. A spiral walkway built around an Amazonian tree takes visitors from the basement to the fifth floor.
The building was originally built as an asylum for the blind and it operated as such until 1979. After that it became the Science Museum of Barcelona. It was renovated in 2004 without altering the original facade, but the size of the complex was increased four-fold and it was renamed as CosmoCaixa.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 10 AM and 8 PM. It is closed on January 1st, January 6th and December 25th. The bus service to this location is good and a number of routes pass through the area. Parking is available and the museum is also accessible to people with reduced mobility. There is an entry fee. About three hours are required to see the place comfortably without rushing through the exhibits.
Flooded forest: This indoor forest gives a nice experience of both the wet and dry conditions in the Amazon rainforest. Trees have been fashioned using molds created by museum staff in Brazil and more than one hundred animal species of the rainforest are represented.
The Hall of Matter: This exhibit depicts the creation of matter from the big bang and explains evolution. It also describes civilization.
Geological Wall: The exhibit gives visitors a good understanding of geological formations and processes such as erosion, sedimentation and the activity of volcanoes. The materials used for this display come from a number of different places.
Click and Flash: This is an interactive exhibition for kids that uses games to engage children and teach them about science.
Most visitors feel that the interactive and scientific exhibits are excellent for children, especially for those above 8 years old. There are exhibits for smaller children too. Adults are most impressed by the rainforest and many people find it even more interesting on a rainy day. Most people recommend setting aside sufficient time to see and enjoy the place without hurrying through the exhibits.
The CosmoCaixa museum is designed to educate and stimulate the curiosity of its visitors, especially young children. Everything about the place, including the architecture and exhibits, is impressive. It is highly recommended for people visiting Barcelona, especially for those traveling with young children. It gives a great insight into nature and science through its interactive exhibits and activities.