The Royal Palace of Pedralbes is a palace surrounded by beautiful gardens located on Avenida Diagonal, in the Les Corts district in Barcelona.
It was built over a seventeenth century farmhouse acquired by Count Güell, architectural patron of the city of Barcelona. He commissioned the transformation of the building to Joan Martorell. Along with a nearby farmhouse it became the Finca Güell. The architect built a palace and a Gothic-style chapel together with beautiful gardens around. Later, Eusebi Güell commissioned rearrangements of some elements to Gaudi. The architect changed the house, the porter's pavilions and redesigned the gardens. The Hercules Fountain, a fountain with a bust of the Greek mythological hero hidden in the greenery, can still be found there.
Subsequently, in gratitude for the noble title he had been granted, Eusebi Güell gave the house to the Crown. Architects Francesc Nebot and Eusebi Bona were hired to convert the mansion into the Royal Palace. The current building is a structure of central nave, four floors high, a chapel at the back of the building and two curved wings on each side, three floors high, with a front façade clearly in the Noucentisme style. The gardens were redesigned by Nicolau Maria Rubio and some parts were created by the architect and engineer Carles Buïgas to complete it faster. From 1924 to 1931 it was a royal residence for the king visiting the city. After the Civil War, the Palace became a museum as a property of the city's government. Today it is a home to the Ceramic Museum and the Museum of Decorative Arts. It is expected to become a seat of the secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean.
Its gardens, dense and beautiful, host large numbers of native and exotic specimens of Ginkgo biloba, an ancient tree from Asia.