Photographic Archive of the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya The 19th and 20th centuries in pictures
Entrance of the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya. CC BY-SA 3.0 - Josep Renalias / Wikimedia Commons
One of the consequences of the French Revolution was the birth of nationalism throughout Europe. Catalonia did not remain on the sidelines and, in the mid-19th century, the Renaixença began, a cultural movement whose aim was to make Catalan a language of literature and culture and, at the same time, to exalt the history of Catalonia and the idea of patriotism.
Within this context, the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya (Hiking Centre of Catalonia) was formed in 1890 in Barcelona. The founding objective was "to promote excursions around our region in order to make it better known and appreciated, and also to publish papers resulting from these excursions, creating a library and archive". And what better way, in the late 19th century, of documenting these outings than through photography.
The Centre Excursionista collected such a large amount of material that a Photographic Archive had to be created, situated on Carrer Paradís in Barcelona. Currently, it has more than 100 collections (400,000 images) from private donations and bequests. The themes are varied: in addition to landscapes of Catalonia and mountain activities, there are photographs of archaeology, caving, water sports, cycling, boxing, etc. The whole archive is an important historical legacy of Catalonia of the 19th and 20th centuries.
At the same time, the Archive also shows the technical evolution of photography. There are collodion glass plates from the 1860s, silver bromide gelatin plates from the late 19th century, nitrates, stereoscopic plates and autochromes. Also preserved is historical photographic equipment such as cameras, tripods, laboratory instruments and light meters.
Plan your visit
What can I do?
The archive is based in a location with a lot of history: a 15th-century building in which you can see the three Roman columns from the temple of Augustus.
Area service partner
From Monday to Friday
9:30 to 13:30 and 16:30 to 21:30 pm
Monday to Thursday from 17:00 to 21:00
Afternoons: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 17 to 21:30 pm
and Wednesday from 19 to 21:30 pm
Morning: Thursday from 9:30 to 12:30 pm
c/Sant Pere Més Alt, 29, baixos. Barcelona