The Mercat del Born has reopened after twelve years of renovation and an investment of €84 million. The impressive structure of glass and steel is to house the Born Cultural Center (BCC). The Mercat del Born is the largest covered square in Europe at 8,000 square meters.
The official inauguration took place on September 11th, 2013 which is the 299th anniversary of the fall of Barcelona following its siege.
The Bourbon siege of Barcelona took place between 1713 and 1714 during the War of Succession and culminated in the end of an independent Catalan state.
The Mercat Del Born was designed in 1873 by architect Antoni Rovira i Trias and constructed between 1874 and 1878 by master builder Joseph Fontserè, and engineer Joseph Cornet i Mas.
After completion the market stayed open until 1971. At the time of its closure, it was functioning as a wholesale market, which was replaced by Mercabarna in Zona Franca.
Thereafter, Mercat del Born was set to be the site of the Provincial Library.
In 2002 construction began on the Biblioteca Provincial de Barcelona. However, the discovery of eighteenth century ruins caused by the army of Bourbon king Philip V, halted the project.
This area of the La Ribera district was forcibly demolished on the orders of Philip V to make way for the construction of the Citadel, now in the Parc de la Ciutadella.
Following the discovery of the extensive ruins of the medieval city, the decision was made to preserve the site and move the library to an alternative location.
A permanent exhibition will revive the Barcelona of 1700 with thousands of artifacts found in the excavations.
The subterranean ruins are to be visible for visitors while preserving space around the exterior of them for mixed use, including a cultural center and a museum about the War of Succession.