The early-15th-century Palau de la Generalitat opens through a monumental late-Renaissance facade with neoclassical leanings, designed by Pere Blai, but the masterful original Gothic entrance, the work of Marc Safont, sits on Carrer del Bisbe. The most impressive of its ceremonial halls is the muralled Renaissance Saló de Sant Jordi, named after Catalonia's patron saint. The Palau is visitable only on limited occasions (book online) – one-hour guided tours on the second and fourth weekends of the month, plus open-door days.
Normally you will enter at the north end from Carrer de Sant Sever. The first rooms you pass through are characterised by low vaulted ceilings. From here you head upstairs to the raised courtyard known as the Pati dels Tarongers, a modest Gothic orangery. The 16th-century Sala Daurada i de Sessions, one of the rooms leading off the patio, is a splendid meeting hall illuminated by huge chandeliers. The Renaissance Saló de Sant Jordi is still more imposing; its murals were added last century, and many an occasion of pomp and circumstance takes place here. Finally, you descend the staircase of the Pati Gòtic to leave by what was originally the building’s main entrance.
The four Troyan granite pillars framing the modern-day entrance date back 1900 years to Roman times and were brought from Tarragona in the 16th century.