A Neoclassical building on Montjuïc Mountain
Palauet Albéniz was constructed in the first third of the 20th century for the 1929 Universal Exposition to house the royal family during their stay in the city. This building is in stark contrast to all the others located on Montjuïc Mountain, given that it is in the Neoclassical style.
Why visit Palauet Albéniz?
Palauet Albéniz, surrounded by the Joan Maragall Gardens, was built by the architect Juan Moya as the official residence of King Alfonso XIII and his family during the 1929 Universal Exposition. Until then the royal residence during stays in Barcelona was the Royal Palace of Pedralbes, but it was considered more practical for the king and queen to live within the enclosure of the fair.
Its construction, in stone and brick with slate roofs, does not follow the traditions of Mediterranean architecture, but those of the Madrid court, clearly influenced by the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso and the Monastery of El Escorial. The two lion sculptures at the entrance of the palace are from the Royal Palace of Pedralbes.
The inside of the building is not normally open to the public, but the Joan Maragall Gardens that surround it are. Visitors can enjoy their beauty and discover a monumental fountain, an amphitheatre and a set of sculptures distributed throughout the gardens.
Once the Universal Exposition had ended, the idea was to use the building as a music museum, but even though in the 1930s it became known as Palauet Albéniz, in homage to the composer Isaac Albéniz, this idea never came to fruition. In the 1970s, Barcelona City Council remodelled the building and redecorated it with paintings by Salvador Dalí.
For the most curious of you
- Did you know? In addition to continuing to be the official residence of the royal family when they visit Barcelona, Palauet Albéniz is used to host numerous official receptions.
- Local’s tip: If your visit to Barcelona coincides with the Mercè festival, you may be lucky enough to visit the inside of Palauet Albéniz, given that this is one of the few occasions when it opens its doors to the public.
- A must: To see a space that has been home on numerous occasions to the Spanish royal family.