The Baluard Garden, the wall and the Gate of Santa Madrona
When the walls surrounding Barcelona began to be torn down in 1854, only one section was preserved: the medieval wall of the Drassanes Reials, the Gate of Santa Madrona and the Bastion of Les Drassanes. Since the complex was still a military facility at the time, this part of the fortifications remained, fortunately, untouched. This stretch of wall from the 14th-15th century is the only section still standing, and it includes two 13th-century towers. It also includes the Gate of Santa Madrona, the only one of the old entrances to the city still remaining from when the city was shut each night to protect or to control the people of Barcelona. The Bastion of Les Drassanes (which is, in fact, half a bastion) is also unique. A defensive structure from the 17th century designed for modern warfare, it is resistant to artillery and is also prepared to act as an easily-defended fortification.
Their military use ended, the wall and bastion have become a garden space that can be visited, a hidden corner of the city where you can stroll and get the feeling you have travelled several centuries back in time. Once again, this garden and the gate are open to the public, who can discover one of the city’s last secret places. The Consortium of the Drassanes Reials manages the space.
The Museum Garden
From 1802 to 1936, the Drassanes Reials de Barcelona served as an artillery arsenal. Its medieval and modern halls were filled with workshops, foundries, storerooms, etc., while the adjacent buildings were primarily used as barracks. What is now the Museum Garden once held outbuildings used as laboratories and for relatively dangerous activities, which is why they were found some distance behind the main facility. When the recuperation of the Drassanes Reials began in the summer of 1936, these buildings were torn down, and the resulting space was landscaped.
Over the years, trees were planted, a pool was added and the space was slowly beautified, until in the ‘90s it was opened to the public as a municipal garden. More recently, with the construction of the restaurant-cafeteria, the Museum entrance, the placement of large pieces like the pilot house of the Sayremar Uno or a port crane, the garden has become a beautiful, welcoming space. Activities are often organized there (especially in spring and summer), and the garden is occupied by the public on weekends. It is now one of the Museum’s “special” spaces.