Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia, Terrassa, Spain

The Museum of Science and Industry of Catalonia (Spanish: Museo de la Ciencia y de la Técnica de Cataluña) known by its acronym (mNACTEC) is a museum in Terrassa, near Barcelona in Catalonia and Spain. The museum is an Anchor point on the European Route of Industrial Heritage. mNACTEC is one of the three recognized by the Parliament of Catalonia national museums. Its mission is to permanently show the implementation and development of scientific and technical progress in Catalonia, industrial application and especially their involvement and social impact.

mNACTEC headquarters is located in Terrassa, one of the factory buildings most emblematic Catalan modernism: the Vapor Aymerich, Amat i Jover textile factory designed by architect Muncunill and built between 1907 and 1908.

The museum is housed in the iconic Vapor Aymerich, Amat i Jover in Terrassa near Barcelona. It was designed by the Catalan architect Lluís Muncunill for Messrs Aymerich, Amat i Jover in 1909. He solved the problem of roofing the immense weaving shed with row upon row of 161 shell-shaped half arches, each with gently curving windows: this served the same function as the saw-toothed north lights in a Lancashire weaving shed. The columns broke up the usable space of the factory so had to be carefully placed around the looms. The columns functioned as rain water drainage, and held the line shafting that transmitted power from the stationary steam engine to the looms. The engine house and other parts of the building feature the Catalan vault. The factory was severely affected by the flooding of 1963 (Catalan: Riuada del Vallès) and it finally closed in 1978. It was bought by the state in 1983 and opened as a museum.

mNACTEC runs several museums across Catalonia, this one specialises on textiles. The aim of the museum is to provide a comprehensive overview of the history of knowledge and technology in Catalonia, and the process of industrialisation. It starts with the Neolithic revolution, shows power generation techniques with waterwheels, electricity and turbine drives and solar technology.

The Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia is a museum whose mission is to promote the knowledge of the scientific, technical and industrial culture while preserving, studying and showing the evolution of scientific and technical advances In Catalonia, paying special attention to its industrial application and its social impact.

The mNACTEC collections bring together more than 20,000 scientific, technical and industrial objects (goods of production and consumer goods). The Museum is preferably interested in objects designed or manufactured in Catalonia, but also for those that have had an impact on Catalan society or that have represented an advance in a given technology.

The areas represented in the collections of mNACTEC are the following: Domestic appliances; Graphic arts; Computing, electronics and telecommunications; Energy; Science, experimentation and measurement; Medicine; Productive sectors and services; Audiovisual technologies; Transportation, and Others.

The Museum’s exhibits only show 10% of the objects in the collections; The rest of the pieces are preserved in the reserve rooms of mNACTEC, which occupy approximately 7,000 m² and are divided into three different spaces: two of the reservation rooms are located in the same Museum, in Terrassa, and the third is located in a Industrial warehouse in Cervera (la Segarra).

The two internal reserves retain some 17,000 pieces of small size. Cervera reserves a thousand objects, most of which are large and tonnage pieces, such as steam engines, textile machinery, graphic arts, hydroelectric generation, and various means of transport .

Currently, mNACTEC hosts the following permanent exhibitions:

“The textile factory”: shows the whole process of fabrication of woolen fabrics in the original context of a factory of the early twentieth century.
“Energia”: a journey through the different sources of energy as engines of human activity and industrialization.
“The Enigma of the Computer”: one of the most important collections of computers in Europe and the most complete in Catalonia.
“Viva Montesa”: route through the history of the Catalan motorcycle brand Montesa through 67 motorcycles, three bicycles and two engines from the Pere Permanyer Collection.
“The transport”: collection of cars, trucks, engines, airplanes, motorcycles and bicycles that allow a journey through the history of transport from its beginnings to the present day.
“The human body. How am I?”: An exhibition aimed at children that makes known the human body and its operation from an interactive point of view.
“Homo Faber”: an exhibition that shows the evolution of science and technology from the Neolithic revolution to the beginnings of industrialization.
“Lluís Muncunill, architecture for industry”: exhibition dedicated to the figure of Lluís Muncunill (1868-1931), architect of the Aymerich Steam, Amat and Jover, the headquarters of mNACTEC, and a reference point in the industrial architecture of Terrassa.
“ALL IS CHEMICAL”: it shows that it wants to present the contribution of chemistry to the quality of life today.
“Mina Pública de Aigües de Terrassa”: exhibition to know the arrival of water to the population of Terrassa.
“LHC: Exploring the Origins of the Universe”: exposition to bring the general public closer to particle physics and the origin of the universe.

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