In 1993, the Catalan Government created the Blanquerna Cultural Centre, whose objective is to promote Catalan culture in Madrid.
It works to raise awareness about the historical and cultural reality of Catalonia in Madrid and create conditions to enable cultural exchange. To effectively achieve its objectives, the Blanquerna Cultural Centre has a bookshop and multi-purpose events room to host exhibitions, conferences, debates, book presentations and similar events.
The idea of creating a centre to promote Catalan culture in Madrid came about in 1993. The Catalan Government took the project name from the young character in the book "Llibre d'Evast e Blanquerna" (Book of Evast and Blanquerna), written in the late 13th century, by Majorcan writer Ramon Llull, one of the most important Catalan writers in history.
From its offices, on Calle Alcalá, opposite the Fine Arts Circle, the centre works to import Catalan history and culture to Madrid, promoting cultural exchange and activating dialogue and understanding between the two communities.
To achieve this, Blanquerna was designed as a multi-disciplinary space, where a bookshop and two further rooms were set up, one for exhibitions, conferences and debates and another providing tourist information.
The bookshop itself is home to more than 12,000 titles, all related to Catalan culture, including fictional works by writers from Catalonia, in both Catalan and Spanish, translations from Catalan to Spanish and foreign fiction and children's stories in Catalan. The sections dedicated to subjects like history, geography, gastronomy and art are all focussed on Catalonia and its idiosyncrasies.
Blanquerna doesn't exclude new Spanish-language releases, independently of where the writer was born. Its collection also includes the 20 Spanish-language best sellers.