The museum holds a collection from the Early Middle Ages, which is representative of the evolution of artistic creation in Catalonia during the era of the counts. Religious works, liturgical furnishings and monumental decoration are the most outstanding elements. They were produced mainly in the monasteries and cathedral centers that were at the vanguard of artistic production in the Pyrenean and Pre-Pyrenean counties for centuries. The bishopric of Girona was located in the northeast of that region.
A fragment of a Paleochristian gravestone from the 4thcentury attests to the existence of the first Christian settlements in the region. Located in Empúries, that vestige provides stark evidence of the last few centuries of Roman rule. Veritable treasures are on display from the next period, the era of the counts, such as the Hispano-Arabic glass from Saint Vincent of Besalú, the liturgical complex of Sant Pere de Roda,with the portable altar from the 10thcentury, Christ in His Majesty from the Saint Michael of Cruïlles Monastery, and His Majesty from the priory of Sant Joan les Fonts. In the pictorial field, the Beda Book of Homilies, from the San Félix Basilica of Girona and a fragment of La Pentecosta (Pentecost) by the Master Osormort are worth mentioning.
Architectural sculptures originating from cloisters and large gateways also form a major part of the collection on exhibition in several galleries. They feature a varied collection of capitals, with different iconography and shapes from a variety of origins. The most outstanding piece in this group is a marble head attributed to the famous Master of Cabestany’s studio.
In addition, the collection of liturgical objects is worthy of note, including interesting elements like the Lipsanotheca of Bestracà, polychromatic wood carvings of saints and Marian representations coming from all over the diocese, as well as the Cruïlles beam, an almost unique yet incomplete example of a baldachin from the 12thcentury which has maintained all of its polychromy. The itinerary through the Romanesque art collection concludes with the frescoes on the apse of Sant Esteve de Pedrinyà.
Finally, the visitor will discover one of the traditional and tourist symbols (not without a certain air of mystery) of contemporary Girona: the authentic column of the lioness in relief, from the 13thcentury.