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In its day the Palau Requesens was the largest residential building in medieval Barcelona. The original construction is from the 13th century, when it was sheltered by 3rd-century Roman walls. It's a protected monument of national interest and in 1917 became the seat of the Acadèmia de Bones Lletras (Fine Arts Academy), and since its restoration in 1970, it has housed the Galería de Catalans Il·lustres (Gallery of Illustrious Catalans).