The Palau Reial Major (“Grand Royal Palace” in English) is located in the Góthic Quarter of the city, more exactly in the Plaça del Rei. It’s dated to the year 1100 although the current shape and buildings were added over the centuries. This palace was the residence of the Counts of Barcelona and later the kings of Aragon.
It is made up of several buildings which, although not particularly majestic, they show a good part of the Catalan Gothic style:
* The Salon del Tinell: Built in the mids of the 14th century and is the building where Christopher Columbus was received on his return from America. In this building some remains of the Visigoth culture were found.
* The Chapel of St. Agatha: Built in the year 1302 with gothic architecture and attached to the Roman wall. You can also see it from Plaça Ramon Berenguer.
* The Palace of Lloctinent: Since mid-1500 with a beautiful central courtyard that you can visit.
* The Martin King Balcony: This large rectangular tower of five stories high has never satisfied the original function as a lookout for the defense, but was rather simply to show off. In this building now we find the Frederic Marès Museum.
The palace was occupied by the Inquisition well into 1800’s. Today many of them give place to museums (like the Barcelona's History Museum and the Frederic Marès Museum) and for exposition of many and varied art.