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Discover the best kept secrets of Catalunya Library

By | 17 April, 2020 | 0 comments

Biblioteca de Catalunya, or Catalunya Library, first opened its doors on 28 May 1914, although construction began earlier in 1907. Until 1940, it was located in the Palau de la Generalitat building, and not the city’s former hospital, where you’ll find it today. In the fog of the Spanish Civil War, the library was moved, but didn’t open its doors again until 1940.

Biblioteca de Catalunya

Want to discover some of the unique treasures of Catalunya Library?

The original hospital was built in 1401, when the Consell de Cent, or health council at the time, decided to create the Santa Creu Hospital in order to centralise the city’s healthcare provision within a single administration. At the same time, the Estudi General d’Arts i Medicina was established, governed by the city councillors, together with the Church.

In 1638, a fire broke out, destroying the Poniente nave, but it was rebuilt within less than a year, thanks to the charity and generosity of the local people. The centre has been continuously refurbished over the years, discovering new historical findings with each remodel. For example, in 2007 during works in the garden, developers found buried skeletons that could be dated back to the 18th century by archaeologists. They’ve been linked to patients of the former hospital, who probably asked to be buried in the peaceful gardens.

During the Spanish Civil War, Catalunya Library was kept open until the very last moment, just as Franco’s troops began marching into Barcelona. Library cards that were stamped between 1936 and 1939 went unreturned and were written off, having been issued during a time of war. At the time, regulations were passed to clean up the city’s culture, with the aim of keeping some texts with a firmly socialist, communist and liberal theme in a remote part of the library, known as the ‘Infierno’. Only those who were great intellectuals or thinkers were allowed to read them at the time. This space continued to exist until the 1980s.

When visiting the library, you’ll be able to see a wide range of documents – 3.7 million, to be exact! In the library, you’ll find texts on a wide variety of topics, cultures and other unique artefacts, such as a thank you letter from Elizabeth Taylor to Dr Trueta, a letter from Grace Kelly, as well as a sound recording of some imitations of animal sounds recorded way back in 1897 in Washington.

To discover all these secrets and hidden treasures, pay a visit to Catalunya Library on your next trip to the city, where you can learn, discover and enjoy every corner of this magnificent and historic building.

Categories: barcelona

Barcelona, March 24th 2020

It is time to take care of each other!

Following the instructions of the Central Government, we communicate that all HCC Hotels will remain closed until the state of alarm ends. The safety of our employees and customers is and has always been our highest priority.

However, we continue to work from home, so we are available by phone (+34) 934817350 or e-mail hcc@hcchotels.es for any questions you have about your reservations.

At HCC Hotels, we want to send everyone all our support: we will overcome this situation together!

Thank you very much to all.

Info Covid

Precautionary measures:

  • - Moved to all employees the need for extreme hygiene protocols and all staff it is sensitized taking maximum precautions.
  • - the cleaning service has been strengthened so that during your stay the maintenance of the hotel intensifies the use of disinfectants.
  • - antibacterial soaps have been placed at all customer and staff access locations.

In any case, we recall the convenience of caution and respect the general prevention guidelines recommended by health authorities to prevent the spread such as frequent hand washing.

We want to give a message of calm and confidence that applying hygiene protocols are needed to minimize the risk of contracting this virus.