The Gaudí Exhibition Center is found in the medieval Pia Almoina building, home to the Museu Diocesà de Barcelona, located next to the Cathedral in the heart of Barcelona. Around 12 million tourists and visitors transit the large square bounded by the Cathedral and museum every year. This is the most visited space in Barcelona.
This building originated as a charitable institution founded by Barcelona’s canonry in 1,009 to care for pilgrims and the poor.
Initially and until the 12th century, it was located next to the Cathedral where the Capella de Santa Llúcia is found today, and thereafter it was moved to its present location: a set of buildings supported by the Roman wall that had been home to the canonry from the 10th to the 14th century (1,369), when the canons left the conventual rule. The Roman wall was then partially demolished, and the buildings that stand today were constructed. The building boasts the highest heritage standing (National Cultural Heritage). It consists of two bodies, one in the Gothic style with its side facade on the Baixada de la Canongia and entrance through Pla de la Seu, built around 1,435, and another in the Renaissance style built longitudinally to the other and added around 1546.
Remains from the previous structures are still visible, including a tower and fragments of the 4th century wall and a pre-Romanesque capital.