Casa de la Seda | Barcelona Bus Turístic

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Casa de la Seda

A building decorated in sgraffito and a legacy of the power wielded by the guilds in the 18th century

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A house with more than 300 years of history bears witness to the importance of Barcelona’s professional guilds in the 18th century. Casa de la Seda, the headquarters of the Guild of Silk Weavers, which was founded in 1533, has been recognised as an artistic monument since 1919.

Why visit Casa de la Seda?

The building, which in English is ‘The House of Silk’, was built from 1758 to 1763 to be the headquarters of the Brotherhood of Silk Sail Weavers, whose patron saint was Our Lady of the Angels. The building, designed by Joan Garrido, is on Via Laietana, very close to the Palau de la Música Catalana, and stands out due to the original 18th-century sgraffito work that is preserved on two of its facades. The sgraffito on the third facade, which gives onto Placeta de Sant Francesc, was undertaken during the remodelling of the building in 1930.

Other features include the baroque-inspired balconies and, on the corner, a niche that contains an image from 1760 of Our Lady of the Angels, the patron saint and protector of sailmakers, beneath whom are her angels arranged in a half-moon shape. Casa de la Seda is the only guild house in Barcelona that can be visited by the public.

 

How do you get to Casa de la Seda?

From the Barri Gòtic stop on the Red Route of Barcelona Bus Turístic you can reach Casa de la Seda by walking up Via Laietana towards Plaça d’Urquinaona. You can also reach it by strolling from the Plaça Catalunya stop, which is the start and end of both the Red Route and the Blue Route of Barcelona Bus Turístic.

 

For the most curious of you

  • Did you know? The opening of Via Laietana was started in 1907, recovering Ildefons Cerdà’s idea of building several quick routes to connect the Eixample to the port. Of the three that were planned only this one was realised, albeit with significant modifications. The disappearance of major heritage due to the opening of the new street was met with numerous protests that determined the subsequent modification of certain sections, including the deviation made to save the guild house of the silk weavers.
  • Local’s tip: Near to Casa de la Seda there is a neo-Gothic building that was built in 1917 by Enric Sagnier i Villavecchia as the headquarters of the Caixa de Pensions savings bank. Its main features are its tower inspired by Central European Gothic churches, its lancet arch with polychrome windows and the sculpture on the corner, by Manuel Fuxà, which is an allegory to savings.
  • A must: To discover an 18th-century building that has remained practically unchanged.