Library of Catalonia, Barcelona

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#497 of 1,047 in Things to do in Barcelona
The National Library of Catalonia is a Catalan national library located in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The mission of the Library of Catalonia is to collect, preserve, and spread Catalan bibliographic production and that related to the Catalonian linguistic area, to look after its conservation, and to spread its bibliographic heritage while maintaining the status of a center for research and consultation.It occupies 8,820 m² and has about three million items.HistoryThe library was founded in 1907 as the library of the Institut d'Estudis Catalans. It was opened to the public in 1914, in the time of the Commonwealth of Catalonia, and was housed in the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya.In 1914 the Commonwealth of Catalonia converted the library of the IEC into a public cultural service. In its early days, the library was situated in an area of the Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona. In 1929, the library was acquired by the city government of Barcelona. In 1931, the 15th century buildings formerly occupied by the Hospital de Santa Creu were declared a part of Spain's historical patrimony; and the municipality of Barcelona approved the cession of large portion of the site to the Biblioteca de Catalunya.In 1936 the first reading room, the Sala Cervantina was opened, but the project was halted because of the Civil War and not all of the necessary adaptations were completed. After the fall of Barcelona in early 1939, the library was closed until 1940. After the Spanish Civil War, in 1940, the library was renamed the Central Library by the Franco regime and moved to its new site, where it remains to this day. During the rule of Franco, the institution was turned into a general use library, which was intended to supplement the deficiencies of the public and university libraries.
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  • August 4, 2017
    Passed by by accident and fell in love with the garden. Saw local people playing huge chess and it's super fun!  more »
  • May 12, 2017
    Old hospital, built in the 14th century to unify all the hospitals in Barcelona. At the heart of el Raval, specifically in Hospital Street. It is a great example of the civil Gothic style of the 14th century
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  • March 17, 2017
    It was alight (looks better in pictures), you could hang out if walked too much but nothing much to write home to  more »

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Because the city's metro system makes traveling from area to area relatively painless, you have more flexibility in choosing a place to stay. Barceloneta, the neighborhood surrounding the city beach is somewhat removed from the city center, making its hotels popular with families. Only a 15-minute walk from the center, Barceloneta has a more laid-back beach atmosphere but still offers several restaurants and entertainment options. Farther away from the beach and closer to the city center, El Born is a charming neighborhood well-known for its restaurants and lively bar scene. Eixample is also popular as it is more central and home to some of the city's best shopping and tourist sites, including La Sagrada Familia. For a more traditional experience, consider staying in the Gothic Quarter, the heart of Old Barcelona. This picturesque neighborhood boasts a tight network of historical architecture with boutique hotels and traditional restaurants.
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