Built in 1891, the beautiful Parc de la Ciutadella is home to the Parliament of Catalonia. Across from it we can find the Plaza de Armas (“Weapons square”) and an elegant pond with Water Lilies that dates from 1907, built by Josep Limona. In 1888, this old park held the Barcelona Universal Exposition, in which the Modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner collaborated, and a young Gaudí participated in the design of the extravagant Cascada (Cascade).
This green, tranquil oasis offers a rewarding break from the noisy city. The glorious entrance to the park is a triumphal arch, designed by Josep Vilaseca for the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition, decorated with angels and allegorical reliefs. Within these premises is the Barcelona Zoo, from the 1940s, where the famous albino gorilla known as Snowflake lived until 2003.
One of the aquariums features a show with dolphins, and the aviary mimics the habitat of the Doñana National Park. At the entrance we can find one of the symbols of Barcelona: The famous sculpture of Dama del paraguas (Lady with the umbrella), built by Roig i Soler in 1885.
If you take a journey through the Ramblas, you will find the extremely famous Ferran Street, ending up in the Plaça Sant Jaume (Sain James’s Saquare), where the Palau de la Generalitat is located, which houses the offices of the Presidency of the Generalitat de Catalunya since 1403.
The Renacentist façade resides in the statue of Sant Jordi (Sain George, the Patron Saint of Catalonia) and the dragon. The late Gothic style Catalan patio is a Marc Safont’s work (1416). In the interior you can find the Gothic chapel of San Jordi, also Safont’s, and Pere Blai’s Saló de Sant Jordi. At the back we can find the Pati dels Tarongers (Orange Tree Courtyard), built by Pau Mateu, with a bell tower designed by Pere Ferrer in 1568.
The President of the Generalitat has dependencies here, but their official residency is at the Casa dels Canonges. Both buildings are united by an ancient bridge, built in 1928 over Carrer del Bisbe, inspired by the Venetian Bridge of Sighs. In front of the Palau de Generalitat, also in Plaça Sant Jaume, is the Casa de la Ciutat (Barcelona’s City Hall), which is home to the Government of the autonomous community.
The City Hall has an extraordinary artistic patrimony, including murals made by Josep María Sert in 1928 that describe great moments and situations of Catalonia’s history, in the Saló de Les Cróniques.
Transfers Barcelona Zoo an Ciutadela