Mercat de les Flors
The city’s municipal theatre
Mercat de les Flors is a leading space for the performing arts in the city of Barcelona. It opened its doors as a theatre in 1983 in the former Palace of Agriculture, which was constructed for the 1929 Universal Exposition and was subsequently used to house the central flower market, hence its name.
Why visit Mercat de les Flors?
Mercat de les Flors is located in the Palace of Agriculture, a Noucentista building that was built in 1927 by the architects Josep Maria Ribas and Manuel Mayol. The building had a surface area of 16,000 m2 and was inspired by Baroque models, particularly its outstanding facade and semicircular portico. After the Spanish Civil War, part of the construction was demolished and what was left was used as a flower market.
Of the old building only the facade, the central pillars and some of the towers remain. In recent years, the space has undergone numerous reconstructions and extensions. Its architectural highlights include the building’s large dome presiding over the vestibule, which has a diameter of some 12 metres and was designed by the Majorcan artist Miquel Barceló. The main structure of the old market, which was conserved, was remodelled to house the new site of Fundació Teatre Lliure, and part of the land occupied by the market’s other structures, which were demolished after the Civil War, was assigned to Barcelona’s Institut del Teatre drama school.
Mercat de les Flors now continuously stages shows by domestic and foreign creators and is considered to be a benchmark research, production, creation and dissemination centre for dance and the moving arts.
For the most curious of you
- Did you know? The space was officially opened in 1985 with the premiere of "The Mahabharata", directed by Peter Brook.
- Local’s tip: Mercat de les Flors offers an ongoing programme of productions to suit all tastes, which you should consult before your visit.
- A must: For lovers of the scenic arts.