The Palau Reial Menor of Barcelona started out from what was the Palau del Temple, (Temple Palace), the headquarters or convent of the Knights Templar in Barcelona.
It was originally made up of a group of buildings located in the historic centre of Barcelona, between the streets which today are known as Ataülf, Timó-Milans, Avinyó and Templers-Cervantes. In 1866, it was demolished by the owner of the Palace at the time, the Countess of Sobradiel, in order to build flats to rent. Of the original building, only the chapel remains today.
Throughout its existence, it was remodelled in a range of architectural styles, from Romanesque to Baroque. Three doorways led out onto a large square containing several buildings such as towers, churches and gardens. It had a large living area similar to the Saló del Tinell, known as Sala dels Cavalls, (Horses’ Hall), which was at times used as a theatre. Thanks to several paintings of the building dating from the mid 19th century, we can observe how majestic it used to be, before it gradually fell into a state of disrepair, and was finally demolished in the 19th century.
Today, very little is left of the original main building, and the most noteworthy remains are the Palau Reial Chapel, which was once the Convent Chapel of the Templars, reconstructed in the 16th century. Not far away, we can find a doorway at the bottom of Carrer Timó. According to some sources, this was the entrance that led to the Palace gardens and allotment; according to others, it was a doorway that crossed through the city wall, enabling the Templar convent to communicate with the outside world; in which case it would have been built with the permission of King Jaume I of Aragon, in recognition of the order of the knights who had been responsible for his upbringing and education.