One of the symbols of Barcelona
Its origins date from after the War of Succession, when the field marshals of the new king, Philip V, turned to the opera as entertainment for both their troops and the general public.
It was built over the Trinitarian Convent located in the centre of the Ramblas, which was extended in order to accommodate all the activities required by the Liceu. Work began under the orders of Miquel Garriga i Roca in 1845 and the whole project was completed in 1847. The theatre has a ground plan in the shape of a horseshoe arch and when it first opened, it was said to be one of the biggest theatres in Europe at the time. A fire destroyed the auditorium and stage in 1861, but it was rebuilt by Josep Oriol Mestres, this time without the second-floor amphitheatre. The original façade was refurbished in 1875. Another fire destroyed the theatre in 1994, leaving only the entrance and horseshoe arch. The theatre was rebuilt once again, leaving intact the parts unaffected by fire and recreating the auditorium in its original form.