The strategic position of the Dockyards with respect to the city meant that this architectural complex was very significant when organising the defences of Barcelona. The inclusion of the building within the fourteenth century wall showed the importance that the authorities already gave it.
From the 16th century the bastions contributed to the improvement of the mediaeval defensive structure, based on walls and towers, which, with the invention of artillery, was becoming outdated.
The bastions are structures which protrude from the main body of the wall, thus avoiding dead angles that could occur when the enemy reached the base of the wall, and, if they were strongly armed with cannons, also prevented enemy fire from reaching the city.
Two bastions were built in the Dockyards: the Baluard del Rei (the King’s Bastion) was an enormous structure closing the wall on the side facing the sea located where Plaça Drassanes, also known as Pl del Carbó, stands nowadays. It was built in the 16th century and housed the troops who protected the Dockyard until the development of Avinguda del Paral.lel, at the end of the nineteenth century.
The other bastion which has remained practically intact since it was built in the 18th century is the B de S M (Saint Madrona Bastion), on what is now Av del Paral.lel. Troops and warehouses were house inside, as well as artillery in the upper part, which has been converted into a garden.