Plaça del Rei in Barcelona - The King's Square Historic Buildings


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Plaça del Rei (King's Square) is a fascinating area located at the heart of the Gothic Quarter that was witness to the history of Barcelona from the Roman times to the late middle ages. When you visit the Gothic Quarter, you will not want to miss the medieval square. Buildings that are rich in history border this fascinating area. In fact, these constructions were once where the Counts of Barcelona lived.


Plaça del Rei - Palau Reial Major (center), Lieutenant’s Palace (left), St.Agatha chapel (right)

Palau Reial Major (center), Lieutenant’s Palace (left), St. Agatha chapel (right)

The Palace "Palau Reial Major"

Palau Reial Major is an impressive palace located in Plaça del Rei that was once the home of the kings of Aragon. First built as a Roman fortress, this palace was later expanded. Within the palace is the Salo del Tinell, which translates to "great hall." This hall is likely the most beautiful room in the entire palace.

Today, it is used for temporary exhibits of the Barcelona History Museum, so you'll have a chance to appreciate the magnificent style and architecture.

On the side of the palace, you can find the chapel of Santa Agatha. Opposite that royal chapel is the Lieutenant's Palace, which comes complete with a pretty courtyard in a Renaissance style. The Lieutenant's Palace is currently where the Archive from the Crown of Aragon is held.

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Plaça del Rei - The Columbus monument, an homage to the admiral at Las Ramblas (viewpoint on top)

The Columbus monument, an homage to the admiral at Las Ramblas (viewpoint on top)

Plaça del Rei and its Important Place in History

According to historical accounts, this area is where Christopher Columbus first greeted the King and Queen when he arrived back from the New World. However, some consider this story to be a myth.

But it still stimulates the imagination to think about Columbus proudly walking along the very same streets that you are on heralding tales of the New World.

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Plaça del Rei - Main entrance of the Barcelona History Museum (MUHBA)

Main entrance of the Barcelona History Museum (MUHBA)

One of the Most Fascinating Barcelona Museums

Barcelona History Museum holds the history of Barcelona from the earliest days to the Spanish Civil War. That means that more than 2000 years of history are covered. Plaça del Rei is considered the center of the Barcelona City Museum, and its other attractions are located throughout the city.

The museum includes one major attraction, which reveals underground ruins from Roman times. These remains of the Roman city of Barcino are very popular among the places to visit in Barcelona. This is, in fact, the most significant settlement from the Roman era that has ever been found in Europe.

The remains were excavated from 1930 until 1960. Once you take the elevator down to the lower level, you will indeed get a feel for what ancient Roman life might have been like. Among the ruins are old factories and winemaking facilities. There are a variety of educational resources like videos, displays, and maps that are designed to help give visitors an insight into what ancient life was like.

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Plaça del Rei - The Royal Chapel of St. Agatha, built on the Roman walls (14th century)

The Royal Chapel of St. Agatha, built on the Roman walls (14th century)

Other Attractions at Plaza del Rei

Also worth checking out in this fascinating part of the Gothic Quarter is the King Martin's Watchtower, which is a lookout tower. You can also visit the Royal Chapel of St. Agatha which has not only an impressive bell tower but also a remarkable painting from the 15th century called Epiphany.

Plaza del Rei is another fantastic place for hanging out and doing a little people watching. While the bars and restaurants can be pricey, you can just sit at the fountain and relax. You will often be able to witness musical performances right by the fountain. Many travelers find this square to be one of the most romantic places to visit in Barcelona.

The square is a little bit hidden behind the Gothic Cathedral. As a result, frequently tourists miss finding this gem of a location. You will undoubtedly see the appeal of this area to be one of the highlights of your trip, especially if you are interested in history and architecture.

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Plaça del Rei - The square is an important place full of history

This square is an important place, full of history

A Site with Past

Visitors find this to be one of the places to visit in Barcelona that is not only intellectually fascinating due to the Barcelona History Museum and Barcelona Roman remains, but also beautiful and romantic.

When you visit the Gothic Quarter, you merely need to see this gorgeous space. Many consider it to be one of the most beautiful places in the entire city.