Named for the weavers and blanket makers whose street this was in medieval times, Carrer Flassaders begins on Carrer Montcada opposite La Xampanyet, one of La Ribera's most popular bars for tapas and Cava. Duck into the short, dark Carrer Arc de Sant Vicenç; at the end you'll find yourself face to face with La Seca, the Royal Mint (officially, the Reial Fàbrica de la Moneda de la Corona d'Aragó), 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. La Seca has been exquisitely restored, with the original wooden beams, pillars, and brickwork intact; it's home now to a small avant-garde repertory theater company called Espai Brossa. Adjacent is the studio and showroom of internationally acclaimed sculptor Manel Alvarez.
Moving left to Carrer de la Cirera, look 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; 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 Loisaida (vintage clothing and curios: the name is Spanglish for the Lower East Side in New York City). 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 shop of famous Barcelona chef Mey Hofmann, whose cooking school is over on nearby Carrer Argenteria. (Don't pass up the mascarpone croissants.) A right on Passeig del Born will take you back to Santa Maria del Mar.