ROMAN WALLS AND AQUEDUCTS (ARCHDEACON’S HOUSE)
Casa l’Ardiaca is a singular edifice located in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona. In English it translates to the Archdeacon’s House. It is here that the hierarchy of archdiocese has resided since XII century when the Cathedral started assuming its current Gothic character.
Since then it has undergone many works of reformation, the most significant of which were those advanced by Lluís Desplá i D’Oms in the XVI century. This last remodelling converted the residence into a sumptuous Gothic mansion (arranged quite freely due to the formation of the terrain): Renaissance decorations on its façade, patio riddled with columns, a gallery, staircase and fountain at its heart. In 1870 Jordi Altimira purchased the mansion in an auction. In collaboration with Josep Garriga, Jordi Altimira carried out noteworthy reforms in order to annex the mansion with the adjoining Casa del Degá, for example, transforming the patio into a cloister.
Later, in 1895, it went on to be the headquarters of the Barcelona Bar Association who requested Lluís Domenech i Montaner to redesign and refashion the building, this included the Modernista box on its façade. In the end, in 1920 proprietorship was passed on the Ajuntament de Barcelona (City Council) and has become starting 1921 office to the Historical Archive of Barcelona.
Joseph Goday directed the alterations to render the building apt for its new role starting off from the plans of Agustí Duran i Sanpere, while Santiago Marco handled decorations. The Roman wall is visible from the ground floor inside the building. There’s an impressive palm tree in the patio and a fountain adorned on the feast of Corpus Christi according to the traditional “l’ou com balla” (Dancing egg).