Pedralbes Palace is today the seat of the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean.
In the past it was used by the Spanish Royal family when visiting the city. Given National Historic status in 1931. Now open to the public, it has a museum with a permanent collection including decorative ceramic pieces, Catalan and Arabic pottery and works by Miró and Picasso. The gardens were designed by J.C.Forestier; Royale Mayor Palace, (13th century) used by the Counts of Barcelona and Royal family during that period. It houses the famous Tinell room (14th century) which was used by the Reyes Católicos (Catholic King and Queen) to welcome Christopher Columbus following his return from America..
The Palace has its origins in the old country house of Can Feliu, from the 17th century. The country estate was acquired in 1862 by the Count Eusebi Güell, along with the neighbouring house Can Cuyàs de la Riera, which created an extensive estate. Subsequently Count Güell gave up the house and part of the gardens to the Crown. At this point the buildings were remodelled and converted into a Royal Palace (1919-1924), designed by the architects Eusebi Bona y Francesc Nebot.
The gardens were designed by Nicolau Rubió i Tudurí in 1924, a project which placed a large number of existing trees into a decorative geometric layout. The main access to the building from Diagonal Avenue is presided by a beautiful sculpture designed by Eulàlia Fàbregas de Sentmenat, and that bears the meaningful name of Mediterrània. Meandering through the gardens one finds a fountain created by Antoni Gaudí which during recent years was completely hidden by dense vegetation. It was rediscovered at the start of the 1980s and is the star attraction of a charming corner of the garden. In the gardens of the Palace one can find pine trees, eucalyptus, magnolias, acacias, bamboos, palm trees, cypress, cedars, lime trees, ivy as well as benches made from bamboo and luminous fountains created by Carles Buïgas.
Pedralbes Palace in Video:
Pedralbes Palace today
The Spanish port city of Barcelona is from November 2008 the seat of the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and his Egyptian counterpart, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said i November 2008 in Marseille. Agreement on what had been a bone of contention among the 40-plus members of the union was reached overnight during a meeting of foreign ministers from European Union members and their counterparts from Mediterranean states.
The headquarters is now be housed in the 17th-century Palace of Pedralbes, on the grounds of which stands a fountain "Font d’Hèrcules" created by the legendary Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi.
Kouchner said the foreign ministers had also agreed to allow the Arab League to participate at all future meetings of the group, but without any voting rights.
It was also decided that the Union for the Mediterranean's general secretary is to come from a southern country, and that he or she would have five deputies, including one Palestinian and one Israeli.
Finally, the foreign ministers agreed that the group would be called Union for the Mediterranean, rather than the Barcelona Process Union for the Mediterranean, a reference to the original EU Mediterranean initiative.
Palau PedralbesAv Diagonal, 686 , 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Area: Les Corts
Website: Palau de Pedralbes - Barcelona
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Closed on 1st January, 1st May, 24th June and 25-26 December
Phone: 00 34 93 256 34 65
Metro/Bus: Metro: L3 Palau Reial
Barcelona metro map