The Royal Shipyards
Headquarters of the Maritime Museum of Barcelona (MMB)

The building of the Royal Shipyards of Barcelona (Drassanes Reials in Catalan), as well as being the headquarters of the Maritime Museum of Barcelona, ​​is a vital building in the maritime history of the city.

The Royal Shipyards of Barcelona

The Royal Shipyards were initially conceived as a space for the construction, maintenance and repair of galleys and the warrior fleet of the Crown of Aragon. Its architectural structure reveals in turn use as equipment, weapons and supplies warehouse.

The medieval wall of the city of Barcelona

The initial construction of these shipyards dates back to the fourteenth century, when Peter III of Aragon (called Peter the Great) ordered the construction of an exclusive space for the royal where they could build and maintain the galleys and the royal fleet. The first installations consisted of bare ground with towers at the corners (4 in total), surrounded by a wall with an outlet to the sea. Two of these towers still exist today.

Huge weighing scales in the Maritime Museum of Barcelona

It was Alfonso IV of Aragon, who in 1328 proposed to cover the space, noting that the ships were spoiled in the outdoor.

But it was not until the reign of Peter IV of Aragon, as recorded in the only surviving book of work from the construction, they proceeded to cover much of the space and the construction of four stores during the years 1383 and 1384. The stone used was from Montjuic mountain, at the foot of which the work was based.

In 1390, under the reign of John I, a major expansion of the space they occupied the shipyards was carried out, even projecting the creation of a royal palace which was built only the foundations, as evidenced by the archaeological excavations at the site. It is during these works, which the coverage of the central courtyard and Porxo Nou (The New Soportal) is constructed.

Between 1641 and 1644, on the occasion of the War of the Reapers, the enclosure was fortified.

Latest archaeological studies show that the main body of the building was built in the second half of the sixteenth century.

The building of the shipyards has undoubtedly great historical, cultural and therefore touristic interest. Your visit means a visit to the Museum, as it houses it, but also of architectural interest or museum, the building provides important historical information such as the discovery of a Roman necropolis below the foundation. There are currently being conducted some archaeological studies in place.

Royal Shipyards arches

The Maritime Museum of Barcelona

At the time of this writing (October 2013), the Barcelona Maritime Museum is undergoing a renovation. The museum remains open, but with much less material and preparing new exhibitions in order to be able to open its doors in the same premises of Drassanes Reials mid or late 2014.

The best place for the Maritime Museum of Barcelona

However, currently they are exposing important pieces, including a replica of the royal galley, which occupies the main part of the shipyards.

You can also visit at the Port Vell, the Santa Eulalia schooner, piece acquired by the Maritime Museum in 1997 and which was restored recovering its original features. Sea or sailboats lovers, have the possibility to navigate on the Santa Eulalia, weekends, prior seat reservation at the Maritime Museum.

Replica of the Royal Galley

In his visit HappyBarcelona.eu, there was taking place a traveling exhibition of photographs in black and white about the seaside towns of the Catalan coast and the work and life related to the maritime world.

Now you can see “Viaje mar adentro” ("Journey into the deep"), which is part of the new permanent exhibition of the new Maritime Museum of Barcelona.

How to get to the Royal Shipyards

As always, HappyBarcelona.eu recommend you to go to the places having a stroll. For the Royal Shipyards and due to its location near the Columbus Monument, almost touching the Ramblas, it is worth insisting on a walk.

However, those who wish to use public transportation, they should know that they have the Metro station corresponding to the line 3 called Drassanes.


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