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Nestled on the bustling La Rambla street, Virreina Palace was constructed for Viceroy of Peru, Manuel d'Amat i de Junyent. Built in the 18th Century, the palace was erected to the designs of noted architect Carles Grau and the structure remains an arresting example of rococo and baroque architectural styles. Presently, Virreina Palace is home to the Culture Institute and organizes several cultural programs and temporary exhibitions of art works by noted regional and international artists.
Tàpies himself created the Fundación Antoni Tàpies in 1984 as a place to study contemporary art. Today, its library has become one of the most important of its kind in the world, exhibiting a large collection of his original drawings, paintings, sculptures, and engravings. Designed by modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, the building that houses these extraorindary works traces back to 1880. It served as the headquarters of prestigious publishing house Editorial Montaner i Simón until the 1970s though the spirit of the arts is still very much alive. Keep an eye out for temporary exhibits, and be sure to look up above the entrance for one of Tàpies's avant-garde sculptures when you visit.
The cathedral archdeacon's 16th-century residence was built on top of a ruined 12th-century building, over the ancient Roman walls of the city. The cloister, Renaissance patio and its Gothic-style central fountain are outstanding period pieces. Modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Muntaner added a witty postbox by the front door. The swallows carved on it represents the hope for quick delivery of justice, whilst the tortoise is a symbol for obstructions. Climb up to the top to enjoy beautiful views of the courtyard below and the surrounding areas.
For centuries, Casa del Degà was home for deans of the cathedral. This 14th-century house next door to Casa de l'Ardiaca faced a tragedy in 1420 when the structure was damaged. One of the deans, Jaume Estela, commissioned the attractive Renaissance façade in 1548; however, he died before work was completed and his successor, Bernat d'Aguilar, oversaw its conclusion. That's why both of their coats-of-arms feature by the entrance.
This romantic and peaceful square in the heart of the Barri Gòtic, just past the Palau Episcopal, stands on the site of what was a medieval cemetery. Its baroque church was built in 1752 and has an unfortunate history. During the Spanish Civil War, a bomb fell on it and killed the 20 children seeking shelter inside. You can still see evidence of the explosion on the church's facade.