Museums explain who we are and where we come from and can even help us understand where we are going. They are spaces that capture our collective memory and define us. Spaces where everyone, whatever their condition or ability, is welcome.
You can discover Girona’s museums in the Xarxa Territorial de Museus de les comarques de Girona. This organisation has developed MUSA, a diagnostic tool that identifies barriers. The application is also a set of guidelines and recommendations to improve the physical, sensory and cognitive accessibility of the facilities.
And to encourage you to rediscover the rich heritage of the Costa Brava and the Girona Pyrenees, today we are highlighting three museums in the counties of Girona with several barrier-breaking resources.
In the historic Hospice building in Olot, the Museum of La Garrotxa traces the artistic, cultural, social, industrial and artisan history of the county. From the 18th-century Olot School of Drawing to the School of Landscape Painting of the Second Republic of Spain, it presents works by Vayreda, Berga i Boix, Miquel Blay, Josep Clarà and Leonci Quera. The museum exhibits the famous painting La Càrrega (The Charge) by the painter Ramon Casas, which has an audio description in several languages and the content is transcribed in text for people with deafness or low hearing.
In Museum of La Garrotxa, a woman contemplates the large painting La Càrrega (The Charge). On the right, a civil guard on horseback runs over a demonstrator. On the left and in the background, a crowd leaves in panic. Image by Marina Geli and Pilar Planagumà.
Some elements of the collection can be touched, and the activities organised are offered with sign language. It is also worth noting that the museum has hearing protection helmets for people with high sensitivity, and anti-stress toys for children with autism spectrum disorder.
The Girona Art Museum, located in the former Episcopal Palace, is a must-see. Nearly 14,000 catalogued works make it one of the largest and richest collections in Catalonia. Girona’s art can be seen through different periods and styles: from Romanesque to Noucentisme. There are also monographic rooms dedicated to ceramics, glass and the art of the Catholic liturgy. Some rooms offer a tactile tour and there is also a typhlological experimentation table on Roman stone sculpture. In addition, the museum’s audio guide has been adapted into an easy-to-read guide in Catalan.
The Ethnographic Museum of Ripoll documents, studies, disseminates and conserves the tangible and intangible ethnological heritage of Ripollès and the Girona Pyrenees. It shows the identity of the inhabitants of this territory and their way of being and living. And to bring this heritage to as many people as possible, it offers visits adapted for people with cognitive disabilities.
On a guided tour of the Ethnographic Museum of Ripoll, a guide uses a dossier with visual elements to make the content more comprehensible. Image by Diego Espada.
The museum also has an audio guide which, in a fresh and pleasant tone, accompanies the visitor during the tour. The same content is adapted in a sign-guide that includes videos with Catalan subtitles and Catalan sign language.