Palau Castell de Pons
One of the Gothic Quarter’s Neoclassical palaces
In the Gothic Quarter you can find an imposing Neoclassical palace with wrought iron balconies and wide exposed brick arches on the ground floor premises. It is Palau Castell de Pons, a fine example of Neoclassical architecture built for the well-to-do classes, which has preserved frescoes by Pau Rigalt in its interior.
Why visit Palau Castell de Pons?
Palau Castell de Pons, also known as Casa Cornet, is a Neoclassical construction in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, specifically on the corner of Carrer del Pi and Carrer dels Boters, opposite Plaça de la Cucurulla.
When the house originally built on this plot was partially destroyed during the War of the Spanish Succession the Pinós family, to which it had belonged, sold the land to the trader Anton Cornet, who demolished what was left and commissioned the master builder Miquel Bosch i Iglesias to construct the building you see today. In 1824, however, Cornet was declared bankrupt and sold the house to Isidre Inglada, who had the main floor ennobled with sculpted decoration and commissioned Pau Rigalt, one of the originators of Neoclassicism in Catalonia, to decorate the ceilings.
The building has two differentiated volumes: the first, giving onto Carrer dels Boters and Carrer del Pi, configured by a ground floor, piano nobile, two upper floors and a terrace roof; and the second, built onto the side on Carrer del Pi, configured by a ground floor and one upper floor. The main structure has two facades, one on Carrer dels Boters, with three windows, and another on Carrer del Pi, with seven. On the first floor the windows share a wrought iron balcony, while on the upper floors the balconies are individual. The most significant elements of these facades are the long pilasters that support the entablature that embraces the entire top floor. The secondary structure, formerly a raised garden, has three doors on the ground floor and is crowned by a Roman arch. The top level features three Roman arch windows.
Inside, the mythological scenes painted in the 1830s have been well preserved. The outstanding features of the ground floor are the exposed brick arches of the shop that gives onto Carrer del Pi. The shops in this building, the Fargas chocolate shop on one side and the Monge philately shop on the other, installed in what was the main entrance of the building, stood out due to their furniture and decorations, Noucentista in the case of the chocolatier’s shop and Modernista in the case of the stamp dealer’s shop. Unfortunately, in late 2014, the two shops were forced to close and the ground floor of the palace was taken over by a low-cost fashion shop in early 2017.
Very close to Casa Cornet is Palau Maldà, which was the home of the Baron of Maldà, who described Casa Cornet in his "Calaix de sastre", the immense diary he kept from 1769 to his death in 1819, as ‘very high, solid, magnificent and imbued with great spirit in both of its wide round portals on the square, with windows on the mezzanines and balconies or windows on the upper floors, like a house that belongs to a very rich merchant or craftsman’.
How do you get to Casa Cornet?
Hop off at the Barri Gòtic stop on the Red Route of Barcelona Bus Turístic and then follow Avinguda de la Catedral and Carrer dels Boters to the corner of Carrer de Cucurulla. From Plaça de Catalunya, the start and end of the Red Route and of the Blue Route of Barcelona Bus Turístic you can reach Carrer de Cucurulla by walking down Avinguda del Portal de l’Àngel.
For the most curious of you
- Did you know? If you walk down Carrer del Pi to Plaça del Pi, you will find, opposite the Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi, the building known as the Casa de la Sang or House of Blood. It was the headquarters of the Brotherhood of the Holy Blood, which provided spiritual care for those who had been sentenced to death. The building, one of the oldest in the district, was erected in 1342 and renovated several times, the last of which was in 1789.
- Local’s tip: If you take a stroll through the narrow streets of the shopping area of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, keep one eye on the architecture of the buildings. In the area around Plaça del Pi, next to Palau Castell de Pons, you will find Palau Castanyer and Palau Maldà.
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Barcelona Bus Turístic takes you to Barcelona's most essential attractions. These are just a few of the places you simply must see.