Fodor's Expert Review Gaudí Exhibition Center
Set virtually into the city's ancient Roman wall, this 11th-century Gothic building, now a museum, once served soup to the city's poor; hence its popular name, the "House of Pious Alms." The museum (originally housing a collection of religious sculpture, paintings, and liturgical implements) is now dedicated to the works of the master architect Antoni Gaudí. For a tour of the Roman walls, consult the excellent relief map/scale model of Roman Barcelona in the vestibule; copies of the map and model are for sale in the nearby Museu d'Història de la Ciutat (Museum of the History of the City). Inside, Roman stones are clearly visible in this much-restored structure, the only octagonal tower of the 82 that ringed 4th-century Barcino. The museum is behind the massive floral iron grate in the octagonal Roman watchtower to the left of the stairs of the Catedral de la Seu.