Barcelona: Places to Explore

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The Barri Gòtic

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No other city in Spain displays an ancient quarter that rivals Barcelona's Barri Gòtic in either historic atmosphere or sheer wealth of monumental buildings. It's a stroller's delight, where you can expect to hear reverberations of a flute or a classical guitar playing Bach from around the next corner. At times this area can be eerily quiet, a stone oasis of silence at the eye of the storm.

A jumble of medieval buildings, squares, and streets, the Gothic Quarter is the name given to the area around the Catedral de la Seu, still packed with Roman ruins and the Gothic structures of the late Middle Ages that marked the zenith of Barcelona's power in the 15th century. On certain corners you feel as if you're making a genuine excursion back in time, and, for a brief flash, suddenly the 21st century, not the 15th, seems like a figment of your imagination.

The Gothic Quarter rests squarely atop the first ancient Roman settlement. Sometimes referred to as the rovell d'ou (the yolk of the egg), this high ground the Romans called Mons Taber coincides almost exactly with the early-1st-century to 4th-century Roman Barcino. Plaça del Rei (considered one of Barcelona's best plazas), the Roman underground beneath the City History Museum, Plaça Sant Jaume and the area around the onetime Roman Forum, the medieval Jewish Quarter, or Call, and the ancient Plaça Sant Just complete this tour. All in all, this nearly entirely pedestrianized area contains Roman, Gothic, and even Moderniste treasures.

The Barri Gòtic at a Glance

Experience The Barri Gòtic

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