This square is so beautiful, it’s no wonder it was named ‘royal’ (reial Catalan for royal). The elegant ambiance of the Plaça Reial is accentuated by the fountain, streetlamps and palm trees, and it is one of Barcelona’s busiest, most vibrant spots, particularly at night. This is Barcelona’s best-loved porticoed square.
In about 1835, many of Barcelona’s religious buildings disappeared as a result of the confiscation of properties. This was the case with the former Capuchin convent which was demolished leaving a huge vacant plot behind. The current Plaça Reial was built a few years later. The architect was Francesc Molina, and he designed a luxurious square with the aim of extolling the monarchy. King Ferdinand VII, who was king at the time, was to be immortalised as a statue depicting him on horseback in the centre of the square. The monument never came to fruition and, in its place, stands the fountain of the Three Graces. The two streetlamps on both sides of the central fountain were designed by the young Antoni Gaudí. Surmounted by a winged helmet and a dragon, they were put in place in 1879. Around them, the royal palm trees grace the square lending it an exotic touch. There are uniform, noble buildings on every side with porticoes and terracotta decorations. They were the home of important Barcelona families, although this luxurious appearance has been somewhat toned down by a more bohemian atmosphere.
Today, the square is a busy nightlife hub, and the porticoes conceal restaurants, bars and some of Barcelona’s most popular nightspots.
How to get there: Metro L3, stop Liceu.| Bus 14, 59 and 91.
- City Hall or Casa de la Ciutat
- Barcino, by Joan Brossa
- Casa Martí - "Els 4 gats"
- Columns of the Temple of Augustus
- Church of Santa Maria del Pi
- Church of Sant Felip Neri
- Church of Sants Just i Pastor
- Monument to the heroes of 1809
- Roman wall and aqueducts (Casa de l'Ardiaca)
- Wall and gate of the Roman city of Barcino - Friezes around the front of the Col·legi d'Arquitectes (Plaça Nova)
- Wall and defence towers of the Roman city of Barcino (Plaça Ramon Berenguer)
- Roman necropolis (Plaça Villa de Madrid)
- MUHBA - Museu d'Història de Barcelona - El Call
- MUHBA - Museu d'Història de Barcelona - Plaça del Rei
- Museu de la Catedral
- Museu del Calçat
- Museu d'idees i invents de Barcelona (miba)
- Museu Diocesà
- Museu Frederic Marès
- Palau de la Generalitat
- Plaça del Rei
- Plaça Reial
- Plaça Sant Felip Neri
- Plaça Sant Jaume
- Topos, Eduardo Chillida
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