Updated Apr 21 2020
Right in the heart of Barcelona, in the Plaça de Sant Jaume, you will find the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya, the headquarters of Catalunya’s most important institution, and it’s directly opposite one of the city’s other major official buildings, Barcelona’s City Hall.
The Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya is the place in which the president of the Catalan government meets with his or her councillors, in order to make decisions that affect the citizens throughout the whole of Catalunya.
Looking at the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya you might think to yourself that many different architectural styles are featured, and you’d be right, because the construction of the building took over 200 years, starting at the beginning of the 15th century and ending in the middle of the 17th century. You’ll therefore see that in its façade, which is of clear neoclassical style, there are various elements of Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque styles. On top of all these architectural styles, there’s another highlight, which is the existence of the four granite columns on the façade. These columns have even more historical significance, as they are over 1900 years old and come from the former region of Troy, in modern-day Turkey.
Inside there are various significant rooms and areas
Pati dels Tarongers (‘The Orange Tree Courtyard’)
Its construction dates back to the middle of the 16th century and a variety of official ceremonies are carried out there.
The Gothic Cloister
It’s a magnificent cloister in the Gothic style.
Saló de Sant Jordi
The building’s main hall, in which many important ceremonies take place.
As it’s the headquarters of the most important institution in Catalunya, it’s not usually possible to visit the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya like you would visit many other places of interest within the city. However, guided tours are organised on the mornings of the second and fourth weekend of the month, that you can book via the Generalitat de Catalunya’s website and that are carried out in four different languages: Catalan, Spanish, English and French. We recommend booking your guided tour with plenty of advance notice (you can book up to 6 months ahead), and indicating two possible dates, in case your first choice isn’t available.
It’s also possible to visit the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya on specific dates, such as the Sant Jordi Festival (23rd April), the La Mercè Festival (24th September) and the National Day of Catalonia (11th September), although we do recommend one of the weekend morning visits with prior reservation wherever possible, because there will be fewer people and the tour will be quieter, without having to queue for a long time, as you’ll often find on the open days.
Plaça (square) de Sant Jaume 4, Barcelona.
Guided tour timetable
The guided tours take place on the second and fourth weekend of the month, and must be reserved in advance via this website.
Cost of entry
Free of charge.
How to get there
Metro: Jaume I (line 4) and Liceu (line 3).
Bus: Lines 14, 17, 19, 40, 45, 59 and tourist bus.
By foot: You can walk from anywhere in the heart of the city centre.
Nearby places of interest
Barcelona City Hall
Sant Jaume square
Palau Reial Major (Palace)
Frederic Marès Museum