The Gothic Quarter (Barrio Gótico) is not just a tourist place, but a temple of the Barcelona
history. Here, her secrets and mysteries are stored, that have seen centuries.
Behind the usual Gothic appearance, the remains of the Roman city of Barsino are hiding. The
Gothic quarter is recognized as one of the best preserved in Europe. The city did not change its
medieval appearance and size until the end of the 19th century.
Here, you can expect amazing surprises at every step - whether it is the remains of ancient
Roman walls, an original sign, an elegant bridge or an amazing grille. You certainly must walk it
So, we will get to know the Gothic Quarter now. We will make a journey into the past!
Cathedral of the Holy Cross and St. Eulalia
The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and St. Eulalia (one of the patrons of Barcelona) is the central
and most significant building of the Gothic quarter. The construction of the cathedral lasted more
than six centuries (!) and was supported by donations from medieval brotherhoods and guilds.
It is this cathedral, and not, contrary to popular belief, the Sagrada Familia, that is the residence
of the Archbishop of Barcelona and the main cathedral of Barcelona.
It is simply impossible to miss the building, the cathedral is beautiful, both inside and outside.
Getting inside, you can see 26 luxurious chapels with burial places of the counts of Barcelona,
enjoy the peace and beauty of the patio and even see 13 white geese, that correspond to the age
of Eulalia, when she died in the throes, killed by the Gentiles.
Jewish Quarter El Call
In the labyrinth of narrow lanes of the Jewish Quarter, where everything is imbued with antiquity
and the magic of the past, one can see and feel how the Jewish community lived in the Middle
Ages. Until the XV century, only Jews lived in the quarter, but the requisitions and pogroms by
the rulers of Catalonia led to the expulsion of the people of Moses. Now, in the vicinity of Carrer
del Call, there are numerous antique, secondhand and souvenir shops. And in one of the cellars,
there is the oldest synagogue in Europe. Why is the synagogue small (12 x 6 m or 40 x 20 feet)?
Why was the night of August 5, 1391, one of the bloodiest? You can learn these and other stories
about how the Jews sponsored the kings, going into the synagogue. You can get acquainted with
the history of the quarter, see the collection of tin and silver items used in Jewish ceremonies, as
well as other historical objects, at the Center Indrepretacio del Call.
Church of Santa Maria del Pi
Gothic church of the 14th century, which has the largest rose-like window in Europe.
The 50-meter bell tower, located next to the church, can be called a feature of Barcelona. Here,
there are six bells, among which the largest and most famous is Antonia; (its weight is 1806
This church has one more distinctive feature (though not architectural) - a pine growing in the
square in front of the church. The prefix del Pi; means something like from pine or with
Behind the church, there is a museum and a beautiful inner garden, in which concerts are held.
At the entrance, on the right side, pay attention to the glass showcases: there are real-size dolls
there - Los gigantos, the main symbol of any city holiday.
The Square of San Jaime
Plaza de San Jaime (Plaza de San Jaime) is a place with a stunning history. It was here centuries
ago, where the main roads of the Roman settlement of Barsino crossed, and there were the
Forum and the Temple of Augustus in the center. Now, the square of San Jaime is the center of
political life in Barcelona. Here, opposite each other, there are two main administrative buildings
in Barcelona: the building of the City Hall (Casa de la Ciutat) and the Palace of the Parliament of
Catalonia (Palau de la Generalitat), decorated with a statue of St. George, striking the dragon.
In San Jaime Square, demonstrations and various unusual city events are often held -
competitions for the construction of human towers – castelles, or 3D installations on historic
buildings. Here, the barcelons love to dance sardana and celebrate the New Year.
This legendary modernist restaurant is located in a narrow street in the Gothic Quarter.
Its age is more than respectable: a hundred-odd years. It was a place of a permanent hangout of
artistic bohemians, not only in Barcelona, but throughout Europe.
Frequent guests here were Picasso, Gaudi, composer Albeniz, pianist Granados and many others.
At the time of Franco, the building was demolished, but in the 1970s it was restored in its
In 1900, two first solo exhibitions of Picasso's works were held in the café. Picasso, for lack of
money, sometimes paid with his drawings here. Young Picasso gave the author's design of the
menu cover as a gift, at the age of seventeen. Even now, this menu is printed in that original
style. Here, you will have a unique opportunity to feel what it was - the notorious belle époque.
And you can personally appreciate the atmosphere of the antique and cult Spain of the 19th
The King´s Square
Walking along Carrer del Veguer, you can come to the Museum of the History of Barcelona
(MHCB), located in the King's Square (Placa del Rei). The uniqueness of this building is that it
was moved here in parts and then reassembled.
The dominant area is the Great Royal Palace, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. In fact, it
consists of three buildings: the throne room, the chapel and the tower.
The throne room became famous all over the world in 1493, because it was here, where
Columbus notified Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon about the discovery of a new sea
route to India. Subsequently, the hall was used as a room for the court of inquisition. Convicts
were executed in the square right in front of the building.
The palace is open for visitors.
San Felip Neri area
Do you want to find something special, unusual and interesting? The square of San Felipe Neri
will become that romantic place with a sad history, that will be associated with this ancient city
in your memory.
In the Middle Ages, there was a cemetery at this place, by the church, and in the 19th century,
people were shot here, which can be seen on the wall at the main entrance. Today, this place has
been chosen by romantics, poets and modern directors. For example, the first scene of the
murder in the "Perfume" movie was filmed here. In the square of San Felipe Neri, there is a
shoes museum, where you can see reproductions of shoes from the 2nd to the 18th century, and
also original samples dating back to the 18th century, and to the present day, as well as a huge
shoe that was made during the creation of the Christopher Columbus monument.
The Shoes Museum of Barcelona is listed in the Guinness Book of Records, as the largest
footwear museum in the world.
Frederic Mares Museum
If you want to relax a bit, after historical dates and architecture, visit the museum of Frederic
Mares (Museu Frederic Mares), sculptor and collector, at: Pl. Sant lu, 5- 6
Mares gave the city its unusual collection: sculptures of the ancient period, represented by the
cultures of Ancient Greece, Ancient Iberia, Carthage, the Romanesque period, Gothic,
Renaissance, Baroque and sculpture of Catalonia of the 19th century.
The museum also has a branch called "Sentimental Museum", which is a collection of various
subjects of the Catalan way of life of the XV-XX centuries.
In the courtyard, various holidays and cultural events of the Barcelona City Hall are held. Except
Mondays and several festive days, the museum is open from 10am to 7pm. The entrance ticket is
There is free Wi-Fi in the courtyard, it is nice to sit and relax here.
How to get to the Gothic Quarter?
L 4 - station Jaume I
L 3 - Drassanes or Liceu stations
14, 17, 19, 40, 45 and 59 - stop Barri Gotic
Tourist bus (red route) - Barri Gotic stop
Walk: from Plaça Catalunya, cross the road towards Hard Rock Cafe. On the right side, there
will be a small alley, Carrer de Rivadeneyra 4-6, at the end of which there are metal door bars,
open to enter inside.