Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Gothic Quarter Barcelona

Gothic Quarter – is an oldest part of the Barcelona. It originates from the Roman settlement and located between popular La Rambla and La Ribera. Someone claims that the Gothic Quarter has more ancient roots because according to one theory the city was founded by the Phoenician general Hannibal Barca.

Place de Sant Jaume. Photo provided by the Serge Melki under CC BY 2.0 license

In any way you can see the most ancient buildings of Barcelona here. Just behind the Royal Palace there are remains of the Roman walls dated by the 3 century. At Carrer de Paradis, 10 you can see the ruins of temple of Augustus and a lot of other ruins a spotted along the Gothic Quarter.

Of course, this area is famous by its Gothic heritage. After all it’s called – “Gothic Quarter”.

My favorite place at Gothic Quarter

You can start your excursion from the Placa Nova and the Portal del Bisde which served in the 1 century as the city gate. Here you can find a lot of interesting buildings like Palau Episcopal (The Bishop's Palace) and Casa Arcadia (The house of Archdeacon).

The last building is famous for its courtyard and don’t miss the mailbox which is decorated by the small sculpture of tortilla.

If you have some luck you will see the national Catalonian dance sardana which is performed at the Pla de la Seu in front of the Barcelona Cathedral (not to be confused with Sagrada Familia). To see it you need be here at Sunday. Also if you plan to visit flea market of Barcelona you should be here at Thursday.

Gothic mailbox

Next your goal – is a Placa de Rei where you can find the Palau del Llocient – nice example of the Catalonian Gothic. It’s former residence of the vice-king of the Catalonia. But before the Spain was united it was the Royal Palace of the Aragon Kings.

Inside of this building don’t miss famous Salo de Tunell hall where Isabella and Ferdinand greeted the Columbus after his epic voyage. Also in this complex you can visit Historical Museum of the Barcelona.

At the Placa St Jaume square, the former Roman Forum in Barcelona, now you can see the City Hall (Casa de la Ciutat) and the Palau de la Generalited which is now the residence of the Catalonian Government. Both building are open for visitors. Of course you should check the open hours.

The Palau de la Generalitat. Photo provided by the Generalitat de Catalunya under CC BY 3.0 license

Between this square and Rambla there is small busy Placa Sant Josep Oriot square which is occupied by the cafes. There you can have a rest and drink a cup of coffee.

Gothic Quarter Barcelona sights

Barcelona Cathedral. This Cathedral has been built at the Roman Temple place. The construction started in 1298 and was finished in the beginning of the 20 century. Of course, cathedral was refurbished few times.

Place de Sant Juame Square. As I already mentioned it’s a political center of the Barcelona.

Place del Rei. Photo provided by the JosepBC under CC BY 3.0 license

Picasso Museum. Picasso spent his childhood in Barcelona. Here he started to get first lessons of the painting so it’s no wonder that Barcelona has Picasso Museum which occupied five Gothic buildings.

Eglesia de Santa Maria del Mar Church. This could be counted as most graceful church in Barcelona. Its construction has been started in 1384 and finished only after 55 years. Very small terms for such buildings. This church also is famous for its acoustics, so here often conducted the concerts including the jazz music.

Roman heritage in Barcelona. Photo provided by the Angela Llop under CC BY 3.0 license

This list is not pretended to be full. I just want to entice you to visit Gothic Quarter in Barcelona and I’m sure that you will form your own.