What to visit / Barcelona, district by district / Ciutat Vella / Parc de la Ciutadella / Parlament de Catalunya

Parlament de Catalunya

The Catalan Parliament, which is located in Barcelona, is housed in a building with imposing architecture with a turbulent history dating back to the 18th century, when it was built as a military arsenal for the repressive citadel. It has been the seat of parliament since the reinstatement of democracy and civil liberties.

Governor's Palace, the Palau del Governador, which is now a school; the chapel, a building that is now a military church; and the arsenal, the seat of the Catalan Parliament. The architecture of this parliament building still looks very much the same as it did when it was designed by the architect and military engineer Próspero de Verboom. Built between 1716 and 1748, this robust and imposing structure has two storeys and an attic space set out on a cross-shaped ground plan with a central dome and four inner courtyards. The building is made from stone quarried on Montjuïc and terracotta tiles, and is decorated with the busts of eminent figures associated with Catalan art. These date from the extension carried out at the beginning of the 20th century when the building was converted into the municipal art museum, the Museu Municipal d'Art, following a failed attempt to move the royal palace here.

In 1932, the city council granted the parliament permission to hold its sessions in the building, a function it recovered after over 40 years of dictatorship, once democracy gave back the meaning to this elegant space with its contradictory history. Indeed, in April 1980, the building held the first session of the newly established devolved parliament.

You may be also interested