Gothic Quarter – Barcelona Old Town (Barri Gòtic)
Barcelona / Gothic quarter
Visit ‘Barri Gòtic’, the old town of Barcelona
Tips for visiting the Barcelona Gothic quarter. The old town Barri Gòtic in the historic center of Barcelona, which includes the cathedral and squares such as Plaça Reial and Plaça Sant Jaume.
Info Gothic Quarter Barcelona
|Address||The Gothic Quarter is located between La Rambla and Via Laietana in Barcelona|
|Metro||It is best to get off at the Jaume I (L4) or Liceu (L1) metro stop. From both stops you are within a few minutes’ walk in the heart of the Gothic Quarter.|
|Tips for activities in the Gothic Quarter|
‘Ciutat Vella’, the centre of the old town
The Barri Gòtic is the centre of the old town (‘Ciutat Vella’) of Barcelona. The name means Gothic Quarter in Catalan, and this (tourist) district is definitely worth a visit during your city break. Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is situated between La Rambla and the Via Laietana, and between Barcelona harbour and Ronda de Sant Pere. The Gothic Quarter is a labyrinth of small alleyways that lead to Barcelona’s popular squares. The Gothic Quarter is the oldest part of the city where centuries-old buildings have been persevered. Some date back from before the Middle Ages (including Roman times even). During the reign of Augustus, this site was chosen for the foundation of a new colony. The Roman forum was located where the Plaça de Sant Jaume is today.
Barcelona old town: Carrer del Bisbe
Typical small streets of the Gothic quarter
Barri Gòtic, the center of Barcelona
Today, the Barri Gòtic is home to Barcelona’s municipal offices, including the medieval Palau de la Generalitat (the government building of Catalonia) and Barcelona city hall, the Casa de la Ciutat of Ajuntament. The royal palace (Palau Reial) is also located in the Gothic Quarter. Legend has it that Christopher Columbus was received there by King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile after his return from America. The photo above shows ‘Carrer del Bisbe’, an old walkway near the cathedral. The Gothic Quarter is the city’s centre and a vibrant place with many tourists. For instance, this district is bordered by La Rambla, and one of the most fun squares in the city, Plaça Reial, is located in this Gothic Quarter. The central square is bustling with tourists, terraces, and restaurants. There are many places for authentic dining and shopping in other parts of this Gothic Quarter as well.
Must see in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona
Cathedral of Barcelona ‘La Seu’
The church of Santa Maria del Pi
Palau de la Generalitat at Plaça Sant Jaume
Plaça del Rei with the historic museum of Barcelona
Plaça Sant Felip Neri, the favorite square of Gaudí
Plaça Reial, the lively square with many restaurants and bars
Where is the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona?
Close to the Gothic Quarter are:
Parc de la Ciutadella
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Barcelona things to do
What to See, Do and Eat in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona
The Gothic Quarter in Barcelona is the heart of the city, where you can discover the very essence of Barcelona. The old city is loaded with architectural wonders, fabulous eateries and so many things to explore. Here is your insider’s guide the Gothic Quarter Barcelona and what to see, do, and eat!
Gothic Quarter Barcelona: some background
Photo by Catalan Art & Architecture Gallery (Josep Bracons) on VisualHunt
When exploring Gothic Quarter Barcelona, you’re taking a trip back in history to the city’s origins. This is the heart of the old city, and where you can see the history of Barcelona before your eyes. The Gothic Quarter includes the area from Via Laietana to Las Ramblas and down to the port. However, the name “Gothic Quarter” can be a bit deceptive since many of the buildings and architecture are from the 19th and 20th centuries. In order to add some flair for tourists for the 1929 International Exhibition, many great works of architecture were added in. Knowing this, there are so many historical spots waiting for you to see, like the cathedral and the Roman walls. The Gothic Quarter is a center of activity, especially during holidays and public festivals.
What to see
Photo by Tim Venchus on VisualHunt
The most impressive things to see in Gothic Quarter Barcelona are definitely the works of architecture. Some notable things to see are:
- Barcelona Cathedral – The church’s origins date back to the 5th century, but the building as we know it today wasn’t completed until 1448. It is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture which is open for visits to the public. Scale to the rooftop of the cathedral for a stunning view unlike any other in Barcelona!
- Pont del Bisbe – On Carrer del Bisbe, stop and take a selfie at the famous Gothic-style bridge over the street. Built in 1928, this recent addition holds a dark secret. The architect hid symbols of a skull and dagger on the bridge, so legend says those that see it will fall under an evil spell!
- Roman Walls – As a Roman colony called Barcino, the city was protected by strong, stone walls. You can see the remnants of these walls near the Cathedral, following the 1.4km-long perimeter of ancient Barcino. The perimeter is mostly rectangular and makes for a nice little stroll around the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona.
- The plazas – There are several notable plazas in the Gothic Quarter. Stop by Plaza Reial and see the streetlamps designed by Antoni Gaudí, or see the historical Plaza Sant Felip Neri. You’ll see the facade of the church is pock-marked from shrapnel and explosions from the Spanish Civil War. Plaza del Pi is quite lively, and hosts a nice farmer’s market on the weekend.
See more: Great Activities to Enjoy in the Spring in Barcelona
What to do
Photo by Edgardo W. Olivera on VisualHunt
After soaking up the Gothic architecture, stroll through the neighborhood’s small, winding streets and let yourself just get lost! It really is the best way to see Gothic Quarter Barcelona. Make your way to the Picasso Museum, one of the most popular museums in Barcelona. The collection features works from throughout the artist’s life, but especially those from his time in Barcelona. Next, it’s time to shop! The small streets of the Gothic Quarter are lined with boutiques and stores, many of which are unique to Barcelona and carry local products. If you’re looking for better-known stores, make your way up to Portal de l’Angel, near the Cathedral. You’ll find all of the big names in Spanish fashion here.
During holidays and festivals, the Gothic Quarter is an epicenter of activity. During big festivals, like La Mercè or Festa Major de Ciutat Vella, you will often see parades, performances, concerts, and markets, all right in the street!
What to eat
When it comes to food and dining, there are infinite options available to you in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. To get a sense of Catalan and Spanish cuisine, your first stop should be La Boqueria Market. This food market has stalls loaded with local ingredients and prepared food, ready for takeaway. There are also several tapas bars inside the market, great place to discover how fresh ingredients become amazing dishes. You could also try Can Culleretes, the oldest restaurant in Barcelona. Sample traditional Catalan cuisine from a kitchen that’s been open since 1786 in the heart of Barcelona. If you’re in the mood for something simple, grab a gourmet sandwich from Conesa Entrepans. This cafe has been a Barcelona tradition since 1951 and is a favorite among locals.
Of course, you can’t forget coffee and dessert! Grab a scoop of your favorite ice cream at Gelaaati di Marco, right behind the Cathedral. Ranked as one of the top ice cream shops in the city, you’ll be glad you left room for a sweet treat. To get your caffeine fix, head on over to Satan’s Coffee Corner. Don’t be intimidated by the name, their coffee creations are devilishly delicious!
If you want to discover the Gothic Quarter, join Food Lover Tour and prepare to eat your way around the city!
Gothic Quarter in Barcelona – a godsend for connoisseurs of the mysteries of history
The Gothic Quarter is located in the heart of Barcelona’s Old Town. It has preserved many remarkable architectural monuments, made, as is obvious from the name, in the Gothic style. Majestic stone buildings, carefully preserved entourage of antiquity, some special atmosphere of the quarter – all together makes this corner of the city truly Medieval.
The Gothic Quarter got its name relatively recently because of the large concentration of Gothic buildings in it. In the first century BC, a Roman city stood on this site, which, several centuries later, was fortified with impressive fortress walls. At that time, here one could find buildings inherent in the Romans: a forum, baths, churches, aqueducts. But at the beginning of the fifth century, the Visigoths (an ancient Germanic tribe) conquered Barcelona. In place of the Roman buildings, they erected new ones. These were palaces and temples. They also did not survive to this day, as they were destroyed in the Middle Ages.
The most interesting Gothic buildings were erected here at the end of the 13th – the middle of the 14th century. During the Renaissance, a crisis raged in Barcelona, almost no construction was carried out. This saved the Old Town from the Renaissance developments. That is the only reason why the Gothic Quarter has been preserved to this day with all its gloomy medieval grandeur.
Places to visit
The layout of the streets conveys the spirit of the Middle Ages: the quarter consists of winding and very narrow streets. Their width is so small that many cannot be driven by car. But, of course, the peculiarity of the architectural layout is not the most important thing here. The palaces and cathedrals of this quarter capture the spirit of the unprepared tourist. It is worth noting that not only Gothic creations, but also Baroque, Romanesque and others are located throughout the quarter. Thus, the Gothic corner of Barcelona will be a real find for historians and architects. Here you can draw fresh ideas that will serve as the basis for new creative works, including design ones.
While in the Gothic Quarter, Barcelona Cathedral is worth a visit. It is an exceptional masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Its chapels are decorated with the most beautiful reliefs, and the altar of the cathedral is distinguished by skillful carvings, many stained glass windows and valuable wood painting of the 15th century. The cathedral has several entrances, portals and a beautiful courtyard. It is noteworthy in this place that 13 white geese live in one of the chapels. This was done in memory of the main saint of the cathedral – the martyr Eulalia. She was brutally tortured at the age of 13 by opponents of Christians. You can visit this attraction from Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 12:45, and after, from 17:15 to 19:30 local time. On weekends, the Cathedral opens its doors to visitors from 8:00 to 13:45 and from 17:15 to 20:00. You can get to the Cathedral using the services of the 4th line of the Barcelona Metro. The price of visiting the attraction is 6 euros. Outside, the Cathedral can be viewed for free at any time of the day.
The second significant building in the Gothic Quarter is the Royal Palace. Its architecture combines Gothic and Romanesque styles. Inside the palace is a magnificent throne room. The cost of a tour of the Palace for adults will cost 4 euros, for children – 2. 5 euros. The opening hours of the Royal Palace are from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 14:00, and after the lunch break, from 16:00 to 20:00. On Sunday the Palace is open from 10:00 to 15:00. Contact phone number: +34 93 315 11 11.
Other medieval buildings and gothic churches can also be seen in this ancient part of Barcelona. Each of them has its own unique story.
But besides the medieval buildings, you can also see more ancient buildings here. There is also something left of the Romans here – a small surviving part of the Roman wall, the ruins of the aqueduct and the palace of Octavian Augustus.
How and what to get to the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona
You can get to the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona either by metro or by sightseeing bus. Due to the rather narrow streets, it is not recommended to use a personal vehicle, but on a bicycle it is just right.
The main thing, having arrived in this ancient quarter, you need to have a lot of time left in order to have time to see all the sights, which are in abundance there.
Gothic Quarter – a corner of the Middle Ages in Barcelona
Gothic Quarter – a corner of the Middle Ages in Barcelona
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The Gothic Quarter – Barri Gòtic – is an incredibly beautiful corner of medieval architecture, in which Renaissance and neoclassical masters made their additions while managing not to disturb the overall harmony. By the way, Barri Gòtic is the historical center of the Catalan capital, on the territory of which even buildings from the time of Roman domination have been preserved. Locals also call the quarter “cathedral”, because the Cathedral was built here. The Gothic Quarter got its name at the beginning of the 20th century, and since the 20s it has been officially fixed.
Highlights of the Gothic Quarter
Barri Gòtic starts from Plaza Nova, which was the city’s main market square in the Middle Ages. Here you can find the remaining parts of the aqueduct built by the Romans, in front of which the Catalan Joan Bross depicted an artistic “poem” that develops into the ancient name of the city Barcino.
On the same square is the Palace of the Bishops, famous for its baroque façade, and the building of the College of Architects, whose façade frieze was designed by Pablo Picasso himself.
In addition, in Plaza Nova there is Casa del Ardiaca, that is, the house where Archdeacon Luis Desplat lived. This building is notable for the fact that its rear wall is a remnant of an ancient Roman wall, and it was installed on a foundation built by the Romans, probably as early as the beginning of the 2nd millennium. The house is famous for its Art Nouveau mailbox with swallows and a tortoise.
Via Carrer del Bisbe you can get to another important square – Plaza de Sant Jaume, the main attractions of which are the building of the government of Catalonia and the Town Hall, located opposite each other. By the way, an original neo-Gothic bridge, created by Joan Rubio, leads from the Government Palace to the House of Canons. The remains of four Corinthian columns of the ancient temple of Augustus, built, according to assumptions, in the 1st century BC, have also been preserved here.