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Palau de la Virreina: free photo exhibitions on the Ramblas

Palau de la Virreina gallery

Just like the Palau Robert, the Palau de la Virreina is an exhibition centre installed in an old private residence bought by the Barcelona city hall. We strongly recommend you take a look!

Architecture of the Palau de la Virreina

Palau de la Virreina means “palace of the vicereine” and it was built in the 1770s by the viceroy of Peru, Manuel d’Amat. The viceroy died shortly after moving in and his wife the vicereine became the principal occupant of the palace. And that’s why it’s called the palace of the vicereine…

The baroque and rococo style of the building was surprising at the time as they were not particularly fashionable. If it seems quite classical today, its beauty is undeniable, especially since its restoration in 2010.

palau virreina

Palau de la Virreina: Barcelona’s Image Centre

Since 2007, this building has housed the Image Centre, a space dedicated to photography and audiovisual art. Most of the time there are three temporary exhibitions running in parallel. They are all carefully curated, and feature renowned international photographers as well as young emerging artists.

Photography is often central but some exhibitions also explore other themes such as literary festivals, book publishing or political communication.

The aim of Virreina is to stimulate new cultural experiences using visual arts, and help it to become a source of knowledge of the world around us. And given the quality of the exhibitions, they’re off to a good start!

palau de la virreina

It’s free to visit and the palace is just on the Ramblas beside the Boquería market. So you’ve no excuse not to take a look inside!

It’s also a great place to take a break from the tumult of the Ramblas: not only is the Palau de la Virreina relatively quiet, but it also has a room with two couches where you can sit comfortably and flick through the exhibition catalogues! It’s not the worst place to chill out.


Useful information

  • The Palau de la Virreina is open Monday to Sunday and holidays from 12pm to 8pm.
  • The centre is closed on the 1st of January, 1st of May and the 25th and 26th of December.
  • All the exhibitions are free
  • Explanations are available in Catalan, Spanish and English.

Enjoy your visit!

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