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Barri Gòtic: Barcelona’s Ancient and Wondrous Gothic Quarter

Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, or Barri Gòtic as the locals refer to it, is an incredible old world district filled with ancient treasures, Roman walls, castles and churches, some dating as far back as 15 B.C. during the times of the Roman Emperor Augustus. It’s located in the center of the city, running from the seaport to the Cathedral, east of Barcelona’s famous pedestrian district, Las Ramblas.

The Gothic Quarter takes a visitor back through the ages with its numerous medieval buildings, narrow cobblestone alleys, turrets, walled courtyards and Corinthian columns where royalty and the Kings of Catalonia and Aragon once reigned. Several sections of the former Roman city walls remain standing. The Center Excursionista de Catalunya features the oldest Roman remains in the Gothic Quarter with a pagan temple built for the Emperor Augustus in the first century B.C.

Barcelona Cathedral La Seu - The main feature of the Gothic Quarter is the magnificent Cathedral La Seu, a 14th century Catalan Gothic structure built on Mont Tabor, the highest point of the old Roman city. The Cathedral features a blending of old Gothic and Renaissance design with splendid arches, bell towers and towering spires. The interior of the Cathedral holds a breath-taking cloister featuring a garden oasis of scented orange and rare medlar trees, with a pond and 13 white geese that are said to represent the martyrdom of Saint Eulalia. A tour of this spectacular Cathedral is a must-see for any visitor to Barcelona.

Plaça del Rei: Royal Palace, Lieutenant's Palace, the Chapel of Santa Agata and the City History Museum - The Placa del Rei, known as the “king’s square” is a lovely, walled medieval plaza filled with Roman ruins and medieval monuments. The Placa del Rei contains the Renaissance style, main Royal palace built for the King Alphonso XIII in 1919, the Lieutenant’s Palace, and Gothic courtyard housing the Archives of Aragon and the 14th century, Gothic Chapel of Santa Agata, featuring stunning stained glass windows.

The City History Museum allows a visitor to travel underground to view ancient Roman ruins of the city including, hidden passages, mosaic floors and intact walls. Also nearby is the Romanesque Throne Room or, Saló del Tinell, where Ferdinand and Isabella welcomed Columbus upon his return from the New World.

Cafes, Tapas and Café Con Leche - The Gothic Quarter contains many tapas bars, terraced cafes and "granjas" serving delectable pastries, Castilian hot chocolate and café con leche offering a visitor a quiet respite for refreshment and people watching. The many lovely plazas in this medieval district are a perfect spot to sit and take in all the ancient wonders of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter.

Where is Barri Gòtic: Old town of Barcelona - The right side of the La Rambla when looking toward Placa de Catalunya

How to get to Barri Gòtic: By Subway to Liceu Station on Line 3

Gothic Quarter Barcelona

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