Explore Barcelona’s Roman and Medieval Heritage in the Barri Gòtic:
The Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter) is one of Barcelona’s most famous and interesting areas. This is where the early Roman city of Barcino was established and in this area one can also find streets and buildings from the Middle Ages.
The Barri Gòtic has one of the richest concentrations of medieval buildings in Europe. There are small winding alleyways which open out into squares where visitors can find all manner of Gothic-era buildings, shops housed in centuries-old structures, cafes and much more, providing many hours of fascinating exploration.
Placa Sant Jaume and Surrounds
Set around Plaça de Sant Jaume are some of the most fascinating examples of medieval architecture in Europe. On one side of the square is the Ajuntament ( Barcelona’s City Hall) which was the built in the 15th century. Facing the City Hall is the magnificent Palau de la Generalitat with its Gothic features. This is the seat of the Catalan government.
Plaça de Sant Jaume is a nice place to have a break and enjoy a fine Spanish coffee or tapas. If you’re hankering for a sandwich, Conesa at C/ Llibreteria, 1 has the best, if not the biggest range of sandwiches in town. We were told that even the politicians come here to get their lunch.
And there are sections that are still older. Barcelona was an ancient Roman city dating back 2,000 years. Near via Laietana and its surroundings there are remnants of that beginning still extant in modern Barcelona. Roman walls, wall towers, stone streets and other elements are reminders of the Roman influence of the ancient city of Barcino here. At the Casa de l’Ardiaca it is possible to see remnants of a Roman aqueduct.
Walk along the Carrer del Bisbe and you’ll come to the entrance of one of the most magnificent churches in Europe, the soaring Barcelona Cathedral, referred to as La Seu. This 14th century structure has been updated periodically since its founding and now sports a stellar 19th century faux-Gothic facade. For those who love religious architecture, do not miss standing in the Plaça de la Seu outside for a good view. To the right of La Seu is the Palau Reial where a flea market is held on Sunday.
Even the smaller churches are well worth a look. The Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi is an example that continues to attract visitors by the score every summer.
Shoppers will find many worthwhile sights, too. Along Carrer de Ferran, which leads to Las Ramblas, there are shops galore . Lace, handicrafts, clothing, souvenirs and much more adorn walls that have seen many generations come and go.
In the public square those who enjoy street performers can find an outstanding example in the weekly Sardana Dance performances given here. There are also many cafes where one could stop for a cool cerveza.
For those who wish to kick on in the evening there are the numerous nightclubs dotting the Barri Gotic. There is a range of hotels to stay at in the area for those who want to make the Barri Gòtic home base in Barcelona.
Map of Barcelona Barri Gotic: