The Royal Dockyards were built in response to the Crown’s need for a fleet of ships that would allow commercial and military expansion in the Mediterranean at the end of the 13th Century. They were built outside the first mediaeval wall because they had to come under royal jurisdiction and, besides the building, they integrated the Camp de la Drassana , “The Dockyard Ground”, an open space close of today’s Rambles, which would also be used as a work space for naval construction.
It was a large courtyard with small structures ranged along its walls, which were used as storehouses, workshops, offices etc. By the fifteenth century the first enlargement works had begun, consisting of a partial roofing of the great courtyard and the inclusion of the site within the new city walls built in the time of Pere el Cerimoniós (Peter the Ceremonious.)
The major remodelling work on the building was done, however, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and that is the structure we see today. The construction of the first dyke in the port, in the fifteenth century, produced a change in the dynamic of the coastline which directly affected the part of the building bordering the sea, so that by the sixteenth century it was necessary to rebuild further inland, giving the building a very similar appearance to that we see today.
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