Palau de la Virreina | Barcelona Bus Turístic

During the celebration of the Eleventh of September (Catalan National Day), the Blue and Red route will operate until 14 h, and the Green Route until about 15 h.

  • Home
  • Palau de la Virreina

Palau de la Virreina

A baroque building that is a paradigm of Catalan civil architecture

Hola Barcelona, your travel solution

This late 18th-century paradigm of Catalan civil architecture is a construction that combines French classicism decorative elements with Catalan baroque components, such as the twelve large urns atop the balustrade crowning the facade that overlooks La Rambla.

Why visit the Palau de la Virreina?

Declared a Catalan Cultural Asset of National Interest, it is currently home to the Image Centre, is the headquarters of Barcelona City Council’s Institute of Culture, and also hosts temporary exhibitions related to art, photography and literature.

The palace, which is set a few metres back from the current alignment of La Rambla, is considered to be one of Catalonia’s finest examples of baroque civil architecture. Manuel d’Amat i de Junyent, an 18th-century Viceroy of Peru, commissioned its construction, but his premature death meant that only his widow Maria Francesca Fiveller de Clasquerí i de Bru actually lived there. This is why the building became known as the palace of the vicereine.

The building was constructed from 1772 to 1778 by the architect and sculptor Carles Grau (1717-98) with the aid of another sculptor Francesc Serra. The three-storey palace has two facades: the main one gives onto La Rambla, while the rear facade overlooks Plaça de Sant Galdric, which is adjacent to La Boqueria Market. This square is popularly known as the ‘Plaça de les Pageses’ as it is the place where people from local towns set up stalls to sell their fruit and vegetables like the pageses (peasant farmers’ wives) used to in the past.

 

How do you get to the Palau de la Virreina?

Hop off at the Plaça Catalunya stop on the Blue and Red Routes of Barcelona Bus Turístic. Just walk down La Rambla and you will find the Palau de la Virreina on the right just after Carrer del Carme.

 

For the most curious of you

  • Did you know? Barcelona’s Gegants de la Ciutat (Giants of the City) are displayed at the Palau de la Virreina when not being used in major festivals. Gegants are oversized papier-mâché effigies that depict popular figures, in this case King James I of Aragon and his second wife Violant of Hungary. Documented since the 16th century, these are Catalonia’s oldest giants, although the current figures were made in 1992.
  • Local’s tip: If you have never visited the palace, you should take advantage of its free exhibitions to admire the various rooms of the building, some of which still conserve their original polychrome.
  • A must: To discover the latest creations of the audiovisual world in a baroque setting.