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The House of Silk in Barcelona is the only historic headquarters of a guild that's open to the public and can be visited by buying entry tickets each Saturday which will enable you to admire its artistic and cultural value and also to participate in exclusive events.
This is one of Barcelona's hidden gems for tourists, the secrets of which, we will reveal in the article below.
The House of Silk is situated in the heart of Barcelona, at No. 1 Carrer de Sant Pere Més Alt which is where the neighborhood of Born begins as well as the Via Layetana, just a stone's throw from the Palau de la Música Catalana. The closest metro station is Urquinaona, on the Yellow Line L4. You can also get there on one of the buses which stop on the Via Layetana, such as the V15, for example.
You shouldn't miss out on seeing this wonderful building for a variety of different reasons. Not least of which is its privileged position in the heart of Barcelona which will immediately cause you to raise your eyes in admiration at the building's wonderfully decorated walls. Inside the building, there is a library which houses documents dating back to the 16th century and the furniture is embellished by the presence of magnificent silk upholstery. It is obvious why the House of Silk was declared to be an artistic-architectural monument of national interest in 1919 and ten years later, it won the Barcelona city's gold medal. The historic headquarters of the College of the supreme Art of Silk, during its most famous times as well as today, has opened its doors to the public so that they can immerse themselves in an ambiance where luxury is synonymous with wisdom and dedicated craftsmanship. It is possible to visit the interior of the building every Saturday from 11:00 to 13:00 with an entry ticket for adults costing €13.00 which can be purchased on the following web page: Entry tickets to the Casa de la Seda.
The external facade is completely covered with the finest and most elaborate painted decorations which were done by unknown hands, but whoever the artists were, they were extremely talented and well qualified. Other beautiful features which immediately catch the eye are the baroque inspired cornices which frame the windows and balconies. On the corner balcony you can see a niche that is dedicated to Our Lady of the Angels, the patron saint and protector of sailing boats: this work dates back to 1760. Between 1928 and 1932, on the building's side that overlooks the Plaza de Lluis Millet, the building was expanded and the wall paintings were done based on the originals. Can you identify the difference between them?
The different rooms inside the House of Silk house find woodwork, silk-lined walls and other decorative elements that together, highlight the style, luxury and distinctiveness which characterize the building. In this former headquarters of the silk makers guild, meetings of the General Board of Commerce and Corporations are held at which, decisions of great commercial and political importance are taken: the room in which these meetings are held is known as the "Trade Union Hall" and is without doubt, one of the most spectacular in the House of Silk. The other rooms also house items of great historical value such as the ivory Christ which dates from the 18th century and a cupboard that dates back to 1683 which is decorated with fine floral paintings from the Sailboats Guild. And then there is the undisputed pearl inside the House of Silk which is the library that contains an incredible historic archive with more than three thousand documents, of which, the oldest dates from 1533!
Visiting the House of Silk is not like all the other touristy activities. Buying entry tickets for this attraction in Barcelona will, in fact, not just enable you to view the beautiful things that have been collected together inside a building that has more than 300 years of history behind it, but will give you an experience on a whole different level. A visit to the Casa de la Seda represents a true opportunity to learn something. The route that is proposed by the very capable guides who are responsible for accompanying you on your visit, begins with the main floor of the house (1 hour) where, three centuries earlier, the Congregation of the Sailboats of Barcelona took some very important decisions regarding the textile sector in Catalonia. The visit continues into the Magna room where you will find out about one of the best kept secrets in history. Aren't you interested to know what that is? And you will be experiencing, without even realizing it, an extraordinary voyage back in time. A really experienced tourist guide will explain to you about the social splendors which existed at particular points in history and why it was so important to flaunt these levels of luxury through the concerts and balls that were organized in the House of Silk. And finally, your journey together through the historic center of Barcelona, (the Gothic and Jewish Quarters) will continue, enabling you to obtain a more in depth knowledge of the local history whilst seeing it through different eyes as you breathe in its unique atmosphere (1 hour).