The Central Courtyard is an extraordinary exponent of the characteristic courtyards that Catalan noble houses built from the 13th century on were organised around. Thanks to its distinctiveness, beauty and good state of conservation, this is probably the best example.
Notable architectural features of the courtyard, which is characterised by late-Gothic forms, include an architecture of clear, broad and rich spaces, surrounded by interior walls, with extensive openwork on the first-floor gallery. On the ground floor, the Central Courtyard is very open, to a second courtyard that leads to Carrer del Bisbe. The abundance and quality of sculpture elements is also noteworthy, from the smallest pieces on the staircase to the 26 expressive gargoyles that adorn the perimeter of the opening to the sky. Each gargoyle is attached to a pilaster topped with a pinnacle, and between them are the openings of a sunny gallery. Everything has a stately elegance, but it is also a welcoming space that to this day efficiently performs the basic functions it was designed for, serving as a reception and presentation space, as well as providing access to other parts of the building.
The courtyard can be reached through the doorway on Carrer del Bisbe, from Carrer de Sant Honorat, or from the entrance hall adjacent to Plaça Sant Jaume.
The mezzanine floor houses the Protocol and External Relations Office. Institutional events of the Ministry of the Presidency and the Catalan government are organised in these offices, and staff work on matters related to the representation of the institution and the president at events held at the Palau and elsewhere.
The gallery and upper-floor offices are reached via an elegant open staircase on one side of the courtyard.