The Palau de Pedralbes and by extension the Royal Chambers which include Alfonso XIII's bedroom, and Victoria Eugenia's waiting room and chamber, were constructed between 1919 and 1924. The architects Eusebi Bona and Francesc de Paula Nebot were commissioned to build this home for the King and his family during their brief and sporadic visits to Barcelona.
Alfons XIII's chamber, and the waiting room and chamber of Victòria Eugènia, were added to the itinerary of the Museu de les Arts Decoratives exhibit after the fall of the monarchy, when the Royal residence first opened its doors in 1932. The public was now able to view the three chambers which had been left in their original conditions in regards to wall murals and furniture, by the former occupants who had been sent into exile.
Despite all of the political changes that the building has passed through, (monarchy, republic, civil war, dictatorship, monarchy) (monarquia, república, guerra civil, dictadura, monarquia) that could have led to changes in the construction of the Palau de Pedralbes, the Royal chambers have been preserved almost completely in their original state. The spaces, decorated by King Alfons XIII and his wife Queen Victòria Eugènia in their own personal styles and using their own financial resources, still carry the stamp of their former occupants.
During the 1920's, the winds of modernity arrived in Barcelona with Mies Van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. The King visited the exhibit and was honoured with a personal tour by the architect himself. Despite these new influences, the decoration of the Royal chambers, which was harmonious with some very interesting furnishings, was conceived using clear historical parameters under the direction of a conservative aristocrat anchored in the past.
The Proposed Museum
Our approach is to display the royal chambers as they are today, respecting, as much as possible, their original appearance when they were still in use by the royal family between 1924 and 1930. The only interventions made will be in regards to preservation of the furnishings, in order to provide citizens with a material witness of the political history of our city, a period of creative upheaval and full of contrasts.