23. Royal city and Mediterranean capital
In 1317, James II made Barcelona the administrative capital of the crown by setting up the Royal Archive and the Royal finance minister’s office in the Palau Major. Then in 1359, Peter the Ceremonious sited the main venue representing the monarchy, the Saló del Tinell, in the city.
Meanwhile, the municipal system which the elite had gained from the king in 1249 took on greater powers to the point of awarding its highest governing body, the Consell de Cent, significant independence in running urban life. In spite of the plague, the city benefitted from a long period of prosperity and became the seat of the Generalitat until the crisis of the mid-15th century led to breakdown in a decade-long civil war.