A market with a lot of history

20/06/2024 - 08:00 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

An author's visit organised by the MUHBA reminds us that the current Santa Caterina Market occupies the space of an old convent that was the first seat of the Consell de Cent.


The full, wavy mosaic of the tiled roof is the most distinctive feature of the Santa Caterina Market, one of the city’s best-known buildings, not only because of the roof designed by architects Benedetta Tagliabue and Enric Miralles, but also because of the secrets of the history that lie hidden in the complex. Would you like to discover them? Then the MUHBA has prepared an author’s visit for you.

The Santa Caterina Market is one of the MUHBA’s centres around the city. Perhaps you have seen, at the back of the complex, the space that tells us about the history of the site and shows some aspects of the excavations that were carried out there. However, if you want to know in detail the history of this part of Barcelona, you have to come and see it accompanied by Ramon Pujades. He holds a PhD in Geography and History from the University of Valencia (UV) and is a member of the Faculty of Archivists, Librarians and Archaeologists of the State. In addition to carrying out various tasks, since 2014 he has been a research technician at the Museu d’Història de Barcelona (MUHBA).

Come and visit the market with him and he will tell you about the original building that was built in this space in the 13th century for use by the Order of Preachers (Dominicans). The origin of all this is a chapel dedicated to Saint Catherine, a popular saint during the late Middle Ages. 

From the 14th to the 18th century, the convent of Santa Caterina experienced the best moments of its history. In fact, the Dominican convent of Santa Caterina became the first seat of the Consell de Cent in the city before the Saló de Cent, which did not exist until 1373.

The burning of the convent on the night of Sant Jaume in 1835 and the disentailment led to the building being demolished, despite its artistic value. The covered municipal market of Santa Caterina was built on the same site in 1845. The last renovation to which the building was subjected dates back to 2005.

If you want to discover what there was in the neighbourhood of Santa Caterina before the appearance of the market of the same name in the 19th century, don’t miss the guided visit to the MUHBA of Santa Caterina by Ramon Pujades, but first check the information and make a reservation on this link.