From the street the high stone walls and small windows of the building look austere and forbidding. An arched entrance offers a tempting glimpse of green foliage and ochre yellow walls.  When this building was the residence of the king’s lieutenant, or the Viceroy of Catalonia, a glimpse is all the ordinary passerby could hope for but now the door of the courtyard stands open to everyone.

 

 

The Palau del Lloctinent was built between 1549 and 1558 on the order of Emperor Charles V to be the residence of his representative in Barcelona.  It later housed the archives of the Crown of Aragon and now belongs to the Spanish Ministry of Culture.  The central courtyard with its well tended grapevines, bubbling fountain and shallow reflective pool is a serene and timeless place apart.

(Click on the two photos above for a closer view)