The Barcelona Town Hall (La Casa de la Ciudad de Barcelona) is a Gothic and Neoclassical building located in the Plaça Sant Jaume, in the Ciutat Vella district in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter. It is home to the Barcelona City Council (Ajuntament de Barcelona), the governing body of the city. The origins of this building go back to the 14th century, when the Council of One Hundred began to rule the city. This body was a form of self-government instituted by Jaume I and elected by assemblies of citizens. Since the Council needed a meeting place, in 1360 the construction of the Saló de Cent, an arched hall in which the Council later resided, commenced.
The Town Hall is located on the southern side of the square, in front of the building of the Generalitat de Catalunya. It was designed by several Catalan architects: The Saló de Cent was designed in the 14th century by Pere Llobet and Arnau Bargués, who were commissioned by the Council of One Hundred, while the main Neoclassical façade overlooking the square was created in the 19th century by Josep Mas i Vila. Before it was constructed, it was the Gothic façade situated on Carrer Ciutat, the work of Arnau Bargués, which served as the main entrance to the building. It was decorated by Jordi de Déu and Arnau Bargués as well as several other painters and sculptures. Notable paintings include the image of the archangel St. Raphael, hanging above the doorway, created by Jordi Johan and Pere Ça Anglada (the wings), and two pictures of the patron saints of the city, St. Severus and St. Eulàlia. In the vaulted niches on the ground floor of the Neoclassical main facade, there are marble statues of King Jaume I (the founder of the Council of One Hundred) and Joan Fiveller (a councillor), which were created by Josep Bover in 1847. The marble crown of the façade was designed by Francesc Daniel Molina in 1853 and was sculpted by Filippo Casoni.
After entering the building from the Plaça Sant Jaume, you will find yourself in a hall known as the "Clerk's office" with an impressive ceiling painting by Albert Ràfols Casamada called "The Four Seasons", which functions as the tourist information office. Here you will find the black marble staircase leading to the upper floor, the bottom part of which features wooden beams painted by Pere Arcagna in 1401 as well as sculptures by Frederic Marès, Joan Miró and Josep Clarà. The staircase was built in 1926 and is decorated with Miquel Viladrich's paintings which represent different passages from the poem by Mossèn Jacint Verdaguer, "Canigó". At the top of the staircase there is a vaulted niche with the sculpture called "Maternity" by Josep Viladomat. After reaching the top of the stairs, you will find yourself in the Gothic Gallery which leads to the Saló de Cent, the largest and most emblematic of the City Hall's rooms, the place of the meetings of the Council of One Hundred.
The interior of the room is a structure shaped by semicircular diaphragm arches with wooden beaming from the 14th century. Throughout the years, the room has undergone numerous renovations. For example, at the beginning of the 19th century, the Gothic chairs were built there together with the alabaster altarpiece, the work of Enric Monserdà, demonstrating the city's coat of arms guarded by soldiers holding maces as well as the sculptures of the Holy Virgin (Mare de Déu de la Mercè) and St. Eulalia.
In the Town Hall you can also visit the 19th century Hall of the Queen Regent (Saló de la Reina Regent), the work of Francesc Daniel Molina. This is the room in which the members of the City Council meet each month. In the past, this chamber was used as the royal dining hall during Queen Regent Maria Cristina's visit to Barcelona during the Universal Exposition. In commemoration of this event, two large paintings of Queen Maria Cristina and King Alfonso XIII were placed in this room.
Another spectacular hall worth visiting is the Saló de Cròniques, designed and decorated by Josep Maria Sert in 1928. Its floor is of black marble, while the walls and the ceiling are covered by large oil paintings on a gold backdrop, which allude to the chronicles of Ramon Muntaner and Bernat Desclot about Roger de Flor's expedition to the East in the 14th century.