What to visit / Barcelona, district by district / Ciutat Vella / Barri Gòtic / City Hall or Casa de la Ciutat

City Hall or Casa de la Ciutat

City Hall, also known as the Casa de la Ciutat, stands on one side of the Plaça Sant Jaume, right in the middle of Barcelona's Gothic Quarter and in front of the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya. The neoclassical façade conceals Gothic gems such as the historic Great Hall, or Saló de Cent, designed by Pere Llobet and built in the 14th century.

In the ancient Roman city of Barcelona, the Plaça Sant Jaume was the site of the Forum, the meeting place and stage for political debate. It could be said that the square continues to fulfil the same role today, as it is flanked by Barcelona's two political powerhouses: Barcelona City Hall and the seat of the Catalan government, the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya. Historically speaking, the city's first form of government was the Consell de Cent, or Council of the One Hundred, which used to meet in the Great Hall, the Saló de Cent, from 1373 until it was dissolved in 1714. This magnificent Gothic-style chamber is included on the Barcelona City Hall tour. The medieval government chamber, the Saló de Cent, was the setting for the formal reception hosted by Barcelona City Council for Einstein on Tuesday 27th February 1923. The interim mayor, Enric Maynés, highlighted the importance of Einstein in the field of science as well as his commitment to ethics and pacifism and declared him an illustrious guest of the city. For his part, Einstein took advantage of the event to praise and highlight the importance of the scientific community as a whole.Other highlights include the Saló de Cròniques, or Hall of Chronicles, decorated with murals by Josep Maria Sert (1928) which change perspective depending on the angle you look at them from. The City Hall's lobby and Gothic staircase are a veritable art gallery with sculptures by artists including Gargallo, Llimona, Navarro, Subirachs, Marès, Miró and Clarà.

The statues of King Jaume I (the founder of the Council of the One Hundred) and Joan Fiveller (a 15th-century Barcelona freeman and member of the Council) in the vaulted niches on Barcelona City Hall's main façade were sculpted by Josep Bover (1847). The ceiling of the ground floor features The Four Seasons, painted by Albert Ràfols Casamada in 1982.

You may be also interested