Les Rambles

Les Rambles, probably the best known street of all Barcelona, used to be an old watercourse. The street is divided in three – even though everyone refers to it all by the same name – and has become a must see area of the city. Full of small pet shops and living sculptures, the street has a special charm, especially on a summer day when it’s full of live.

At the very top there’s Plaça Catalunya: nowadays centre of the city of Barcelona it was built when the old Roman walls were demolished in the nineteenth century. In 1927 the square was refurbished to how it is now, creating a lovely space to relax in and, at the same time, enjoy the sculptures made by artists distributed along the square.


The Font de Canaletes is the first of the numerous curiosities Les Rambles has to offer. This fountain, mostly known for being the meeting point of Barcelona’s football team supporters, is one of the most popular places of the city. There is the legend that if you drink the water of this fountain you will come back to Barcelona and a plaque with a poem next to it reminds one of it.

Walking down one finds the Mercat de la Boqueria (Rambla, 95), the most popular and visited market in the whole city. Built in 1840 is a great place to walk through to see the huge variety of foods from all over the world or just to have a fresh juice. There are also small bars or Tabernas that serve good food for a reasonable price. The market is open everyday from 8am to 8.30pm except on Sundays. More information can be found here.

   

Outside is Miró’s Mosaic. Inaugurated on the 30th November 1976 this mosaic was part of Joan Miro’s plan of distributing some of his work around the city.

Half way down the Ramblas there is the beautiful building of El Liceu (Rambla, 61), the Catalan’s Opera Theatre. It was built in 1847 by Miquel Garriga and completely destroyed after a fire in 1861 and again in 1994. Inside there is a private club, “el cercle del liceu” designed in the modernist style with an amazing collection of paintings by popular catalan artist Ramon Casas.

Farmàcia Genover is a shop built in 1911 and considered one of the best modernist buildings made by catalan artist Enric Sagnier. In 1974 stopped being a pharmacy and became a shoe shop before becoming property of the council.

A few steps farther brings you to another modernist shop, the Casa Figueres o Pastisseria Escribà (Rambla, 83). Made in 1902, it is said to have some of the best cakes of the city and it’s well worth buying some.

At the end of Las Ramblas there’s Plaça Colon and its sculpture of the spanish adventurer who discovered America in 1492. Going north-east there’s the neighbourhood of La Barceloneta, an old industrial area refurbished during the 90’s. It’s highly recommended to take a walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. Numerous bars and restaurants can be found here that serve fresh fish and seafood at a good price.

[Pictures credit Raquel Gella except: Plaça Catalunya via Habitat Apartments; Mercat de la Boqueria via Bugbog; Mercat de la Boqueria interior via Un Monde Ailleurs ]

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