Palau del Virrei or Palau Reial [no longer standing] (Pla de Palau, until Carrer del Malcuinat)
After the War of the Reapers, Philip IV’s last viceroy, Vincenzo Gonzaga Doria, ordered Josep de la Concepció to enlarge the Hala dels Draps, a building with a somewhat Flemish-sounding name that was constructed in the 14th century to house the activities of Barcelona merchants. The building was popularly known as the “porxo del forment”, or bread-wheat porch, because, before the site was converted for trading purposes, it had served as the city’s main wheat store. In the 1670s, it began to be converted into the residence of the viceroy, who represented the royal authority in the Principality. The viceroys who resided here included the beloved Georg Hessen-Darmstadt (popularly known as Jordi), from 1698 to 1701, and the hated Francisco Fernández de Velasco, who was appointed viceroy twice, from 1696 to 1697 and from 1703 to 1705. For the six years following Velasco’s second period in office (1705-1711), the palace was the residence of Archduke Charles and his wife, Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, the latter living there until 1713, when she finally left Barcelona. Opposite this palace stood the house of the general, or military governor, which was demolished after 1714 to enlarge the Pla de Palau, the city’s economic and political centre throughout the 18th century.