Palau Dalmases – Barcelona, Spain - Atlas Obscura

Palau Dalmases

This former Baroque palace on the historic Calle Montcada is a rare architectural gem and was once the meeting place of an aristocratic scholarly society.  


Palau Dalmases is among the most beautiful 17th century palaces in Barcelona, situated on the historic Calle Montcada. This street, world famous for the Picasso Museum, was once the heart of the city’s most prestigious district, where wealthy families and ennobled merchants chose to build their Gothic residences.

The facade of the building dates back to the 14th century, but the palace’s Baroque architectural gems are from after it was remodeled by a wealthy merchant and nobleman Pau Ignasi Dalmases, who lived there between 1690 and 1705.

During this time, the palace was the meeting place of the Academy of Desconfiats (Academy of the Distrustful), a scholarly society created by a group of aristocrats in Barcelona in 1700 to study language, culture, history, literature, and philosophy. Its members, known as “Els savis del Born” (“The Wise Born”) enjoyed exquisite meetings around the palace’s cabinet of curiosities and musical instruments.

Today, the historic Palau de Dalmases operates as a flamenco performance venue, but has retained some of its original treasures, such as the Baroque courtyard and the salomic columns on the staircase, on which you’ll find a frieze depicting the mythological story of Neptune’s chariot. It is one of the few civil historic landmarks of this artistic style remaining in Catalonia, as most of the monumental heritage from the era has been lost to the destruction of wars and the steady march of time.

Know Before You Go

Nightly performances typically held at 6p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. Tickets can be bought online or at the door (recommend to buy in advance).

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January 4, 2017

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