The history of the Mercat de les Flors as a municipal theatre goes back to 1983, when the then Councillor for Culture, Maria Aurèlia Capmany, and the mayor of Barcelona at that time, Pasqual Maragall, instigated the creation of this city performance space with the renovation of the Palace of Agriculture, built for the 1929 International Expo on the mountain of Montjuïc. After the premiere of the play The Tragedy of Carmen, by Peter Brook, the Mercat launched a programme of national and international shows and artists. In the old warehouse of the Palace of Agriculture, Brook had found an ideal performance space for his play and managed to transmit his enthusiasm to the city’s cultural authorities. This space and the rest of the Mercat de les Flors was remodelled and opened as a municipal theatre in 1985 with the premiere of Mahabarata, once again with Peter Brook directing. The theatre, even in its beginnings, aimed to set an example in all types of creative expression: theatre, dance, music, performances and media art.
The Mercat de les Flors is part of the amenities that make up the so-called Ciutat del Teatre (City of Theatre), which consists of 3 theatre venues in the surroundings of the Plaça Margarita Xirgu: the Mercat itself, Teatre Lliure and Institut del Teatre.