The research group MAHPA comes from the fusion of two previous research groups of the University of Barcelona: Història Medieval: Fonts i Estudis (Medieval History: Sources and Studies) of the Department of Medieval History, Palaeography and Diplomatic; and Magna Ars, of the Deparment of Art History. They started to work together because of their link to the IRCVM (Institute for Research on Medieval Cultures) since its foundation in December 2008. The outcome of this interdisciplinary and collaborative research has produced collective publications, scientific and knowledge transfer events, as well as the development of ambitious future projects based on our joint investigation on medieval studies.


Specific Aims and Research Lines


MAHPA aims to consolidate its interdisciplinary activity and its internationalization, closely related to its main research lines.


1) Religious and Civil Gothic Architecture. In this field, the goal of MAHPA is to increase our knowledge of Gothic Architecture in Catalonia and the Crown of Aragon: its distinctive features, its promoters, and patrons from an artistic, economic, and social perspective; as well as the construction foremen, the dialog between the architecture and the decorative program, etc.


2) History of Literacy and Written Culture. Here, the group’s goal is to further study previous works on private and institutional archives, the written production of the Middle Ages and, specially, the social practices on writing and reading.


3) Spirituality and Monastic Life. MAHPA wants to deepen the current research on female monasticism in the Iberian Peninsula, focusing in three aspects: firstly, boosting recent georeferencing projects through Landscape History theory and the use of GIS and the Digital Humanities as the most innovative tools for the study of territory; secondly, enhancing the links between spirituality and culture (literacy and writing); and thirdly, establishing a clear collaboration with the current research on charity and welfare, specifically through the connection between spirituality and care..


4) Landscape, Environment, and Spaces. A specialized research project on Archaeology and Landscape History has been developed in the last years, within the GRC Historia Medieval: Fonts i Estudis. The archaeological project of Els Altimirs belongs to this line of research. It will have continuity through the further study of mountain communities, their settlement dynamics, and resource exploitation. The aim of this line is to stimulate the study of environment and territory within the global landscape.


5) Hospitals and Historical Charities: Health and Assistance practices. This line has already brough about many collaborations and joint projects and, in fact, connected the two groups that now merge from the beginning. The research on medieval hospitals aims to launch a major transversal, interdisciplinary, and international project, on the basis of precedent works and the existing network of national and international researchers. Its goal is to broaden our knowledge on the origin of medieval health and assistance practices, their evolution, and contribution to the building of Modern Europe.


To reach our goals, both in each line and in the transversal actions, we plan:


  • To promote individual and joint studies in each line, as Master dissertations, PhD, and collaborative research projects.
  • To stimulate international research, diffusion, and exchange meetings consolidating and expanding those organized until the present day: Abrils de l’Hospital, Research Conference on Spirituality and Monasticism in the Middle Ages, International Seminar on Heritage Archives, etc.
  • To have continuity and expand current national and international projects.
  • To promote a major collective European project related to health and assistance practices.

© Universitat de Barcelona | Carrer de Montalegre, 6-8. 08001 Barcelona | Tlf. (+34) 934037939 / (+34)  934037931


If not specified, images with assigned rights or under Creative Commons license


Planning and documentation: Carme Muntaner i Alsina. Web design: David Carrillo Rangel.