Itching to satisfy your sweet tooth? Take a trip to Barcelona’s famous chocolate museum, Museu de la Xocolata, located just outside the city’s lush Ciutadella Park. Through an interactive experience that sparks all five senses, the museum celebrates chocolate as not only a delicious treat, but a masterful confectionary art and driving force in European commerce.
Opening its doors to the public in 2000, the museum was founded by the Barcelona Confectionary Guild as a hub to share Spain’s rich history with the decadent dessert, discovered over 500 years ago by Hernan Cortez and his conquistadors. Locals took to the sugary treat immediately (who could blame them?) propelling the ever-growing demand of chocolate as a commercial good in both Spain and the greater European market.
Coincidentally, the museum is located in a historic building that previously housed the Bourbon army, famous for their sweet tooth and consumption of chocolate. In the early 19th century, each new military academic was offered an ounce and a half of chocolate paired with a quarter of a pound of bread for breakfast!
Guests are greeted at the museum’s entrance with a chocolate ape, affectionately named Snowy, along with a free chocolate bar as a gift for admission. Impressive chocolate sculptures also line the entrance, cleverly crafted to resemble famous characters and historical figures such as Minnie Mouse and Louis Armstrong. Chocolate-carved Spanish architecture is also on display at the museum, including an impressive replica of Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Família.
More captivating bites of history, in addition to homemade pastries, audiovisual displays, chocolate machinery, and family workshops can be found in the museum, which is open seven days a week from 10am to 7pm. For more information about the museum and special events, be sure to visit their website at http://www.museuxocolata.cat/.