The Drassanes Reials, the Royal Shipyards of Barcelona, were the great factory for the galleys that the Crown of Aragon needed at the height of its Mediterranean expansion. Located by the sea and at the foot of Montjuïc, for many years it was thought that they were the largest and most complete medieval shipyards in the world to have been preserved. But the excavations in 2012 showed that, at the end of the 16th century, on top of the old medieval building,a new shipyard had been constructed that corresponds to the current building.
The King Jaume I instigated the creation of the shipyards, even though it was Pere III who, in collaboration with the city and the Government of Catalonia, gave the final impetus at the end of the 14th century. The first building of this infrastructure was a large walled construction with a tower at each corner; later it was covered and expanded. The large gothic hall of eight naves that we see today dates from the 16th century, although it maintains the original gothic style. It is a wide and well-illuminated space thanks to the large windows and is covered with a wooden roof.
Currently the building is home to the Museu Marítim de Barcelona (Barcelona Maritime Museum). The collection was started in 1929 and has been enriched over the years. Highlights include the models of ships, nautical instruments, votive offerings, maritime paintings, figureheads and cartography. Also very popular are the replicas of the Royal Galley of Joan d’Àustria and the schooner of Santa Eulàlia.
Discover the maritime history of Catalonia through guided tours and activities for people of all ages.