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Carrer Flassaders Review
The Carrer Flassaders (named for blanket makers) loop begins on Carrer Montcada opposite La Xampanyet, one of La Ribera's most popular bars (specializing in a sticky sparkling wine best avoided—but otherwise an excellent place for tapas and ambience). Duck into the short, dark Carrer Arc de Sant Vicenç. At the end you'll find yourself face to face with La Seca, the Barcelona mint, where money was manufactured until the mid-19th century. Coins bearing the inscription, in Castilian, "Principado de Cataluña" (Principality of Catalonia) were minted here as late as 1836. The interior of La Seca (most of which is not open to the public) is an exquisitely restored split-level maze of wooden beams and pillars. Directly ahead in La Seca is the studio and showroom of internationally famed sculptor Manel Alvarez; look for announcements of openings on the door across from the end of Arc de Sant Vicenç.
Moving left to Carrer de la Cirera, look up overhead to the left for the niche with the image of Santa Maria de Cervelló, one of the patron saints of the Catalan fleet, on the back side of the Palau Cervelló on Carrer Montcada. Moving down to the right on Carrer de la Cirera past the Otman shop and tearoom, you arrive at the corner of Carrer dels Flassaders; walk left past several shops—Re-Born at Flassaders 23; the cozy La Báscula café in the former candy factory at No. 30; the restaurant and design store Café de la Princesa at the corner of Carrer Sabateret; and the gourmet Montiel restaurant at No. 19. Then turn back down Flassaders through a gauntlet of elegant little clothing, furnishings, and jewelry design stores past the main entry to La Seca at No. 40, with the gigantic royal Bourbon coat of arms over the imposing archway. At No. 42 is the clothing and curio store Loisaida, Spanglish for the Lower East Side in New York City, occupying part of La Seca. The stylish Cortana clothing store is across the street. Look up to your right at the corner of the gated Carrer de les Mosques, famous as Barcelona's narrowest street. The mustachioed countenance peering down at you was once a medieval advertisement for a brothel. Hofmann, at No. 44, is the excellent pastry store of famous Barcelona chef Mey Hofmann, whose cooking school is over on nearby Carrer Argenteria. A right on Passeig del Born will take you back to Santa Maria del Mar.
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