The Barri Gotic: the Medieval Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

17 places

Ksu Zavyalova

The Barri Gotic is the medieval Gothic Quarter in central Barcelona – its every inch is history – from the Roman times till the present days. The route will tell you about all must-sees and tries.

Eglésia Santa Ana

This ancient church outside the old city dates back to the 12th century. Hidden behind the newly-built high walls, the church has an outstandingly beautiful patio, notwithstanding its gloominess, and the main hall housing divine service as well as evening Spanish guitar concerts. By the way, the hall is among the best ones in the city. The entrance fee of 10 euros includes a complementary glass of wine.

Els Quatre Gats

One of the most famous restaurants in the city. Translated from Catalan, the title says "Four cats". It is known mostly by its old fame as the main rendezvous of the Bohemia and its visitors, among whose were Antonio Gaudi, Isaac Albeniz and Pablo Picasso. It is here where the first exhibition of Picasso's works was held. After that he painted the restaurant's menu that has been used ever since. Nowadays it is popular only among tourists, that's why the staff can be rather arrogant. Nevertheless, the food here is great and elevated prices can be forgiven due to the rich history of the place.

Roman Cemetery

Right in the center of Town Square in Madrid (Plaça Vila de Madrid), there is an ancient Roman cemetery. This cemetery was built in the second century AD, when the Roman warriors led by Emperor Augustus came here and erected the first town walls. As it was forbidden to bury people in the town, the tombs were located along the road, on the way to the town, so that everyone who walks to the town pays due respect to those who used to live here. You can read the names of the dead and of the person who set up the monument on each of the stones

Granja de Pallaresa

The so-called 'chocolate restaurant', Granja de Pallaresa is famous for its churros - the main dessert here - served with hot chocalate. Sometimes it is a challenge to get in because of the crowds. So mornings are the best time to pop in. If you'd rather stay away from high-fat pastries with chocolate, try the caramel flan, creme Catalan or bienmesabe cake with cream.

Santa Maria del Pi Church

Santa Maria del Pi is a 14th century church that has the largest rose window in Europe. Being a classic example of Gothic architecture, the church still holds services. Behind the church, there is a museum and a pretty garden where you can listen to a concert. At the entrance to the right, you can see huge glass cases with Los gigantes, life-size puppets and the major symbols of any celebration held in Barcelona.


Caleum patisserie is one of the highlights of the area. It is located in the basement of a historic building, together with a very special restaurant where only nuns cook. These nuns also make fabulous desserts. You can buy it all (cookies, candies, turrons, etc.) at the local shop which offers produce of various Catalan monasteries.

Jewish Baths (Mikveh)

If you go to the back of S.Oliver store, you will find yourself in the 10th-century Jewish baths. Few people know that this place exists carefully protected by the shop owners. It’s worth coming by to feel the touch of history.

Torrons Vicens

Vicence should be given its due for a good quality and affordable prices as well as for serving one of the major Spanish treats – turrons. Since there is a taster plate at the entrance, there is no need describing it and advising you what to buy and taste. You should just go there and try it yourselves.

Jewish Quarter and the Synagogue

The oldest part of the Gothic quarter where Jews used to live is located near the synagogue and Сarrer de Marlet street. Just imagine, these historic Jewish buildings are still dwelling houses. One of the buildings has the oldest synagogue in Europe in its basement. Why is it set in the basement? Why was this street filled with corpses up to the fifth floor? Get inside and you will get the answers to these questions and discover how the Jews helped the kings.

La Basilica Galerea

First of all this is a jewelry museum, and only then an attractive shopping spot for those who go mad about a new pair of ear-rings or an exclusive bracelet. If you have always dreamt about a sophisticated necklace made of cockroaches, welcome to La Basilica Galerea!

San Felip Neri square

This fabulous square hidden in the labyrinths of the Gothic quarter used to be a cemetery many years ago; later, in the Middle Ages, a church was located there; and in the 19th century firing squads shot people down there, which is inferred from the state of the wall at the main entrance. These days romantic people, poets, as well as film directors take fancy for the place. For instance, the first murder scene from Perfume: the Story of a Murderer was shot right there. There is also Shoes Museum in the square featuring Roman sandals along with Christopher Columbus’s boots. A nice shop selling hand-made soap is located nearby.

Casa de l’Arcadia and Santa Eulalia Chapel

Casa de l’Arcadia deserves attention as a historic building that has survived to the present day. At the entrance, there is an old fountain surrounded by comfortable medieval banks with good Wi-Fi connection: after taking a nice photo you can instantly post it so your relatives and colleagues could envy. As you exit, take a look at a stone postbox with a crown sign that symbolizes the Royal mail by depicting a swallow, representing hope for a quick reply, and a turtle, which apparently shows an actual speed of the Spanish mail service.
A 13th-century chapel opposite is open for visitors and is part of the Barcelona Cathedral.

Plaza Nueva and Part of Roman Wall

This square is a popular venue for Sunday markets, fairs and dances. It boasts the view of the main cathedral and the remains of the Roman walls that used to mark the city boundaries. The square itself is the result of houses’ pulling down that used to be located there. This way the former narrow streets got an open place badly longed for by the locals.

Columnes del Temple d'August

There is a big door in a small side street behind the Cathedral that leads to a residential building with remaining parts of Roman columns in the basement. These 1 BC columns dated to the rule of emperor Augustus now daily catch the eye of local residents as they cook meals in their kitchens.

Frederic Marès Museum

Frederic Marès used to be an incredible collector. He collected a great variety of objects from antiquities to everyday things like ladies' gloves, clocks, photos – all of them from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries! The museum also displays his unique smoking pipes of different shapes and forms. The building has a stunning view and there's a cosy courtyard with a café surrounded by orange trees.

Archive of the Crown of Aragon and Plaça del Rei

The archives are located in a former palace that belonged to one of the king’s associates and are now the world’s second-largest facility of this kind. It is a splendid building overlooking Plaça del Rei (King’s Square). From outside it might look quite gloomy, the same as adjacent church, – Middle Ages builders cared more about defense than embellishment. However, interiors present a different picture – take an underground museum tour see it yourself.

Barcelona City History Museum

An underground museum located in the General Archive of the Crown of Aragon. The museum leads to the ruins of the old town of Barcelona, initially built by the Romans. Here you can see the Grand Royal Palace from the inside, as well as the church nearby. It is here, in the throne room of the Palace, that the royal couple received Christopher Columbus, who came back to Spain after the discovery of America.


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