The aim of this exhibition is to share the history of the Pia Almoina building in Girona with the public. It is one of the oldest buildings in the city, it shares the same neighbourhood with the Cathedral, and it is one of the few examples of Catalan civil Gothic. Therefore, it was declared a Cultural Asset of National Interest (BCIN) in the category of historical-artistic monument forty years ago.
The history of this emblematic building began in 1228 when Arnau d’Escala, administrator of the canonical community of the Cathedral of Girona, created the Pa de la Seu charity, but it would take almost two centuries until the construction of the present building began (1416). The changes regarding the model it should follow that took place during the following centuries led the institution to liquidate in 1776. After the building was confiscated sixty years later, it was divided and sold to several buyers. In 1853, the Religious Daughters of Maria Escolàpies set up their school there. The neighbouring estates were acquired in 1916 and, with the end of the Civil War, this school operated until 1973.
There are several projects considered for the building at that time: the provincial delegation of the Women’s Section, the national tourism parador, the School of Fine Arts and the Conservatory of Music, etc. Until, at the end of January 1974, the acquisition of the Pia Almoina by the College of Architects of Catalonia as its new headquarters in Girona was announced. This was followed by lengthy rehabilitation work, which was completed in 1981.
Up until today, other projects have been carried out to renovate and improve the building to adapt it to the new needs and new services that have emerged, such as the library, the auditorium, the lobby or the archive. Other spaces have also been incorporated, such as the Catalan Institute for Cultural Heritage Research or the Girona Guide Services company.
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