The current carillon in the Palau de la Generalitat has 49 bronze bells and weighs a total of 4,898 kilos. This number of bells, which cover a tonal range of four chromatic octaves, gives it the category of concert carillon. It was constructed by Petit & Fritsen, from Aarle-Rixtel (Netherlands), and was inaugurated on 21 December 1976, just a few months before the restoration of the Government of Catalonia. This new instrument was installed at the behest of carillonist M. Dolors Coll and replaced the little 'carillon' of 1927.
There are usually daily performances (from Monday to Friday) at midday and 6 pm by the Palau’s carillonist; there are also occasional performances on Saturdays at midday. During these performances, the carillon can be heard in the streets of the Gothic Quarter.
The concerts programmed every season can be attended from inside the Palau de la Generalitat in the Pati dels Tarongers (Courtyard of the Orange Trees) or in the Gothic Gallery. The acoustics are optimal in both these venues and the performance will be accompanied by a screening of the instrument’s keyboards on a closed TV circuit. Each of the pieces of the different programs is also presented.
Entrance is free of charge and each concert lasts around 60 minutes. Once all seats have been filled, you will still be able to hear the performances on the streets of the Gothic Quarter. It is necessary to register to attend the concerts from inside the Palau de la Generalitat.
Every season features concerts on the first Sunday of every month (except August and September) at midday in a variety of styles, both classical and more popular, as well as the concerts of La Mercè and St Stephen’s Day. In July there are also the concerts of the International Carillon Festival of Barcelona.