Reial Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona (RACAB)
The Reial Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona (RACAB) is an absolute must on the Einstein Trail. On 27th February 1923, the academy's assembly hall was packed to the rafters to hear Albert Einstein's talk. This renowned physicist and mathematician spoke about the philosophical implications of the theory of relativity.
The RACAB was founded in 1764 with the aim of promoting science, technology and art. It was granted its royal charter in 1787 by King Carlos III when it became known as the Reial Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona.
This institution houses the original camera that took the first photograph in Spain, known as the Daguerre-Girouxdaguerreotype camera. The academy library is considered one of the most important in the country, with more than 100,000 books from the second half of the 18th century. The RACAB archive also has great historic value and its collection of documents dates back nearly three centuries. The Fontmartina seismic station in Montseny and the Fabra Observatory are also part of the RACAB's holdings.
The Reial Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona is housed in an 18th-century building on Barcelona's Rambla. It was refurbished by Josep Oriol Mestres and I. Reventós in 1879. Nevertheless, its current design is the work of the architect Josep Domènech i Estapà, who transformed the building between 1883 and 1894.
You can go on guided tours of the Reial Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona. During your visit, you'll be able to see the Billeter astronomical clock dating from 1869, which shows the position of the Earth, Sun and Moon, and some of the planets, until the year 2029. You'll also find the neo-classical assembly room with murals by the painter Fèlix Mestres where Einstein gave his lecture. And finally, don't miss the clock on the façade. It was designed by Antoni Rigalt and displayed the official time in Barcelona, decreed by the city council, from 1891 until 1941.
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