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Grapevines in the courtyard of Viceroy's Palace

This inner courtyard of the Viceroy’s Palace, the location of the Archives of the Crown of Aragon, enjoys the Mediterranean freshness provided by several grapevines. It is a revered vine arbour, of great sentimental value to the Gothic neighbourhood of Barcelona. It is a vine, never pruned to the stump, with shoots rising to hold on to the stone blocks of the pillars supporting the portico of the courtyard and the first-floor gallery. Its foliage rises and twists into the angles of the first-floor gallery and climbs towards the upper gallery artificially sustained and fed by several profuse and vigorous roots that absorb the underground humidity.

Salto de línea Its life is intimately linked to the Archives of the Crown of Aragon. In the year 1857, in an intimate family ceremony, Francisco de Bofarull, archivist, son and grandson of directors of the Archive, planted the first cutting when he was only 14 years old. It was the symbolic colophon of the period in which the Archive’s documentary collection was moved to the Viceroy’s Palace. They are, therefore, knowledgeable and historic vines.Salto de línea

Tradition suggests that it is a vine of a generation prior to the phylloxera plague that decimated European vines at the end of the 19th century. The grapevine was already over one hundred years old when it was uprooted and replanted in the 1960s. Since then, like life itself, the grapevines have been dying off. The oldest died in 1996 and another recently. However, all have come to life again through the replanting of their own shoots. These vines, apart from providing copious fruit of a reasonable quality, are those which today provide us with shade.