La plaça del Rei
La plaça del Rei
The buildings surrounding Plaça del Rei square form a group of monuments of great historical and heritage value, with the Palau Reial Major at the top, plus the Palau del Lloctinent and the Chapel of Santa Àgata, built on the city's old Roman wall.
A square where you can breathe history
Dominated by the Palau Reial Major, Plaça del Rei initially served as the palace courtyard and, later, markets and even tournaments were held there. The centre of power of the medieval city, the Palau, built in the 9th century, was the official residence of the Catalan counts from the 8th century to the early 15th century. Even though it contains Visigothic and Roman remains, the style of the building is predominantly Gothic. Its most emblematic room, today a must-visit exhibition room, is the Saló del Tinell, featuring a series of semicircular arches of great architectural value.
Medieval and Roman legacy
On one side of the Palau Reial is the Torre Mirador del Rei Martí (King Martin's Watchtower) and on another side, on Barcelona's old Roman wall is the royal chapel of Santa Àgata, with ceilings and altarpieces by Jaume Huguet inside. In front is the Palau del Lloctinent, (now the Archive of the Crown of Aragon), which dates back to the 16th century and boasts a valuable Renaissance patio in its interior.
Rounding off this architectural group in the square is the old Casa Clariana-Padellàs, which is currently home to the Museu d'Història de Barcelona (MUHBA) which, beneath its floors, hides traces of streets, houses and shops from the Roman Barcino. The value of this square, in terms of the history of Barcelona, invites you to go on a journey to the past and to breathe in the nobility hidden within its thousand-year-old walls.
- Plaça del Rei, 1