Are you excited to explore the culture of beautiful Spain?

You’d better pay a visit to the Gran Liceu Theatre in Barcelona.

This institution pays homage to a rich and varied history, adding in a bit of modern performance for spice.

Here you’ll be awed by stunning architecture, plush scenery, and dynamic performances as you discover one of the most elegant venues in the world.

These days the theatre is an established Opera House and one of the most sought-after stages in Europe.

What exactly is so special about it?

Read on to discover everything the Liceu has to offer, and how to go about planning your visit.

Captivating History of the Gran Liceu Theatre

The Gran Liceu Theatre has been around for over a century, so there’s tons of history to explore.

Beginnings of Splendor

The theatre originally opened its doors in 1847 under the direction of newly-crowned King Philip V. It emerged as a beacon of hope for the public after the War of Succession.

The opera was to be a source of light for both Spanish soldiers and citizens after the war. However, disaster soon struck the theatre — and continued to strike.

A History Fraught with Disaster

The Liceu has gone through bombings, two immense fires, and a grave financial crisis during the 1970s.

It has been rebuilt twice: once in 1861 and once just recently after a massive fire swept through in 1994.

The theatre was subjected to a terroristic bombing by anarchist Santiago Salvador in 1893 during a performance. The attack killed 20 members of the audience and injured more.

However, these events did not halt its glory.

Despite these historic disasters, the Liceu has managed to maintain both its reputation and its looks.

Optimistic Future

The place which launched the careers of stars like Montserrat Caballé and Josep Carreras will not go down without a fight.

The people of Spain, as well as opera-lovers around the world, plan to keep it open forever.

The theatre has found sponsorship and major advocates within the government, facets of the entertainment industry, and private investors.

Which Gran Liceu Theatre Tour is Right for You?

You’ll want to see this wonder when you get to Barcelona.

There is a whole slew of guided tours available, but how do you know which one is best for you?

Depending on your preferences and how much time you have, there are several options:

  • Short Tour: The express tour is much-beloved by visitors from all parts of the world. You’ll get to walk through the grand foyer and the auditorium, if there are no rehearsals. You’ll also see the famous Hall of Mirrors, one of the only original installations left after the 1994 fire.
  • Long Tour: For those interested in seeing more of the theatre, take the longer tour of 50 minutes. You’ll learn all about the history and symbolism of the theatre as you walk its halls and enjoy its facades. You’ll also get to explore the Círculo del Liceo, an English-style club which houses an extensive collection of fine art.
  • Special Tour: Travel guide Lonely Planet mentions the possibility of special tours you can book in advance. You can choose to hear a music recital in the Hall of Mirrors, or explore backstage at the prestigious opera.

Gran Liceu Theatre Performances and Events

The Gran Liceu Theatre is still a working venue.

Though it’s worth it to visit just for the astounding architecture and 19th-century bourgeoise history, fans of opera and live theatre may want to take a different approach.

A guided tour will only get you so far. Seeing an actual performance will allow you to step inside the grandeur and innovative modern design of the Liceu auditorium.

Tickets are available online for upcoming events. You can also purchase tickets for many performances at the box office outside the theatre.

You can view opera, ballet, concerts, and other special events which pique your interest.

If you decide you need to see a performance here, you’re not alone. It’s on the bucket list for many.

And due to its legacy, pretty much anyone can visit.

A Gran Liceu Theatre for Everyone

In their infinite wisdom, the city planners put a metro stop right out in front of the Liceu (green line L3, by the way).

This makes the Gran Liceu institution accessible to everyone and plays into another important aspect of its construction.

The theatre is meant to be a bridge between the social classes, rather than a wall which divides them.

To reinforce this legacy in modern days, the Liceu has a central zone offering reduced prices on tickets. They also have discounts for young people, students, the elderly, and children.

Bask in Mystery, Magic and Music at the Grand Liceu Theatre

The Gran Liceu awaits you with a veneer of plush silk hiding a heart of pure gold. Here, you’ll be captivated by a strange history and awed by performances unlike any you’ve experienced before.

So what are you waiting for?

Head down to the Gran Liceu today.

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