The Royal Palace of Pedralbes and its gardens

The Royal Palace of Pedralbes and its gardens

The Royal Palace of Pedralbes (cat. Palau Reial de Pedralbes) is a building located in the middle of a large garden in the Les Corts district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. In 1919-1931 it was the seat of the Spanish royal family during their visits to the city. With the proclamation of the Second Republic in 1931, the palace was donated to the city.

From 1932 to 2013, the palace also housed the Museum of Ceramics and the Museum of Decorative Arts until they moved to the HUB building in Plaça de les Glòries in Barcelona.

Since 2010, it has been the permanent headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).

The palace originates from the 17th century Can Feliu farmhouse. The estate was acquired in 1862 by Count Eusebi Guell, along with neighboring Can Cuyas de la Riera. Together they formed the large complex Finca Güell (30,000 m²). The architect Joan Martorell y Montels was commissioned to renovate the tower of Can Feliu, who built a small palace with Caribbean style, complemented by a neo-Gothic chapel and surrounded by magnificent gardens. Later, Antoni Gaudi was commissioned to renovate the house and build the fence and gate pavilions.

In 1884, Gaudí was also partially responsible for the design of the estate’s gardens, building two fountains and a gazebo.

From this reform, the Fountain of Hercules, a composition formed by a curved bench, a pedestal, and the head of an iron dragon splashing water on a shell, engraved with a shield of four grates on the front, is still preserved today. The ensemble is crowned with a modern bust of the Roman mythological hero Hercules, or Hercules in the Greek version, with a helmet made from the skin of the lion of Nemea, as described by Hesiod.

Address: Av. Diagonal, 686

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