05 Aug Drassanes Reials, a piece of history located at the end of La Rambla
Drassanes Reials in Barcelona (Barcelona Royal Shipyard) is an architectural site, located at the end of La Rambla in Barcelona, headquarters of the current Maritime Museum of the city. It can be reached on foot from the Hotel Arc La Rambla, and its walls house an interesting and long history linked to the relationship between Barcelona and the sea.
Drassanes Reials was a large shipyard promoted by Jaume I, king of the Corona de Aragón, coinciding with the time of its greatest conquest and expansion in the Mediterranean Sea. Later, King Pedro III was in charge of expanding its facilities in the 14th century. This was the period of greatest splendour of Barcelona’s shipyards and around the Drassanes Reials different associations worked on the construction of ships designed and equipped to resist battles at sea.
According to the latest research, the current structure and dome of the building date from the sixteenth century, with a large Gothic room of eight naves perfectly restored.
From Royal Artillery to Barcelona Maritime Museum
After the War of Spanish Succession of 1714, no more ships were built for the Spanish Crown and in 1745 the Bourbon dynasty decided to convert the Drassanes Reials into the headquarters of the Royal Artillery. The building then became a military warehouse until 1936, when the Drassanes Reials were handed back to the city of Barcelona.
The Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia) created the Maritime Museum of Barcelona in Las Drassanes Reials in October 1936 and restored the building. Finally, in 1941 it was opened to the public and currently forms part of the City’s Artistic and Historical Heritage.
Galleys of all times and an interactive museum
The Maritime Museum of Barcelona is today one of the most interesting places to visit, as you can find boats from all eras and interactive exhibitions adapted for all audiences.
In Drassanes Reials you can visit a reproduction of Juan de Austria’s galley, popularly known as “La Gran Capitana”, the spectacular ship that won the Battle of Lepanto. In addition, visitors can see in 3D the battle narrated by Cervantes himself. The pailebote Santa Eulàlia is another reproduction of the historic ships that form part of the permanent exhibition.
The itinerant exhibition “7 boats, 7 stories” takes a journey through the history of sailing from the first boats to the current transatlantic steamers, following as its axis the port of Barcelona.
All in all, Drassanes Reials are a cultural jewel not to be missed on your visit to Barcelona. You can check the rates and opening hours with the reception staff at the Hotel Arc La Rambla.