Plaça de Sant Jaume’s Catalan Regional Government Building (Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya) is much more than just a building with a pretty neoclassical façade: this is the seat of the Catalan government, from where 100 presidents have governed. Constructed between the 15th and 17th centuries, the building is a symbol of Catalan perseverance, having stood the test of time through many historic challenges.
It’s not just special because of its history, either. Apart from the attractive dome-topped exterior, its interior is perhaps even more impressive. It features a Gothic chapel, elaborate ceremonial halls, loads of paintings and sculptures, and a sunlight-filled Courtyard of Orange Trees, or Pati dels Tarongers — among other Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance elements.
While the interior is considered by many to be the highlight of the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya, it is only open to the public the second and fourth weekends of the month (except in August). It is only visit-able via prescheduled guided tour (which lasts roughly an hour), so be sure to book online in advance via the Generalitat’s website.