Yes, I know it means “public”, and that is what it’ll tell you in your dictionary. However, did you know that “público” also means “audience”? A subtle but important difference.
So … what does “audiencia” mean then? I hear you ask. Well, it means the other kind of “audience” – the sort you or I don’t get very often, like an “audience” with the pope or an “audience” with the queen. I say very often, I could just as easily have said, never.
Audiencia also means “hearing” as in a court hearing. La Audiencia Nacional means the High Court, also a place I don’t frequent, fortunately.