Fragment of frieze with masks
Like in all Roman cities, Barcino had its necropolis outside the walls, along the main roads. Fragment
of a Doric frieze with representation of tragic masks which belonged to a funeral monument from
the 1stC a. C.
c. The walls
Barcino had the shape of a long octagon, stemmed from the Roman military camps, but with angles cut out to adapt
themselves to the soil height.
The walls were less than 2 meters thick and more than 8 meters high.
In the present Avinguda de la Catedral there was a big moat which was 6 meters deep and had an irregular
width. It had a defense function and collected dirty and rain waters.
The wall had 4 doors but there is only the decumanus left:
The Praetorian gate: the present Portal del Bisbe
The Decumanian gate: Regomir street.
The cardo towers were knocked down but we know where they were:
The Principalis Dextra gate: in the Jewish quarter o Call jueu.
The Principalis Sinistra gate: in La Plaça de l’Àngel
Each gate had 3 entrances:
1 central entrance: wider, for
2 side entrances: smaller, for
Most of the Roman walls were destroyed during the 19thC.
Some parts were destroyed before.
Tower of the Praetorian Gate, now
integrated in theCasa de l'Ardiaca.
From the low Middle Ages to the present
days the towers of the gate of the walls
are part of El Palau del Bisbe and La Casa
In the 90’s the Avinguda de la Catedral
They wanted to give a monumental vision
of the Roman origins of Barcelona.
A monumental relief with the word Barcino
was added. The letters were designed by
Tower of the Praetorian Gate
Picture of the central arch of the Decumanian gate (Regomir St.)
Centre Cívic Patí Llimona
The Decumanian gate
The main entrance of Barcino was connected to
This gate was like the organizing point for business
and sea transport of goods.
In 1984 la Casa Gualbes became a public space
(El pati Llimona).
The architect Ignasi Solà-Morales operated on the
sector of the palace which had used part of the
Thanks to this intervention we can see the Roman
remains of the Decumanian gate at the subsoil of
this space, even from the street.
Roman merchant ships like this took part in the intense traffic at the port that
the colony of Barcino had in El Llobregat.
Two towers of the Roman
wall of Barcelona integrated
in the Palacio Requesens,
headquarter of the Academia
de Buenas Letras de
Plaça de Ramon Berenguer
This square was originally designed
by Josep Puig i Cadafalch.
They wanted to give a monumental
view of the history of Catalonia.
The stones at the bottom of the
towers belong to a second wall built
by the Romans, later in the 4thC.
This second wall had 76 towers and
turned the city into a place which
was difficult to attack.
Interior of Roman wall tower
Funerary buildings from previous centuries were taken down in the 4th century AD and
their building materials reused for strengthening the walls. Hence the pieces of sculpture
and fragments of architectural decoration that can be seen from this photograph, taken
during excavation work inside the tower number 24 of the Roman wall.
Statue of Diana the huntress
Sculpture of Diana the huntress from the 2nd century AD. It
was used as a table support and was found during
excavation work at tower number 8 in the Roman wall.
Model of the Temple of Augustus
Model of the Roman temple in Barcino, based on the
remains found where it was built (Centre Excursionista de
Catalunya, Carrer del Paradís) in the 1st century AD.
d. The Temple
The remains of the temple are located at El Centre Excursionista
de Catalunya (Carrer del Paradís nº10) and it’s possible to visit
it from 1905.
The temple dedicated to
Augustus was the Forum
main building, was the
center of the Barcino.
The square was the
center of the social,
politic and economic
Headless female Roman statue
Public spaces in Roman cities were decorated with statues
and pedestals dedicated to the gods, the emperor or
important figures in public life.
This must have been the case with this 1st century, headless
female statue, made of white marble and found in Carrer del
Detail of the Circus Mosaic
Although archaeology has not yet produced any remains,
Barcino must have had buildings that held public shows, like
a circus or a theatre.
Detail of one of the judges of a chariot race on the Mosaic del Circ found in
Barcelona in 1860.
Once settled in the new colony, the war
veterans forgot all about their problems
and worries at the circus.
Detail of the face on one of the charioteers on the Mosaic
del Circ de Barcelona.
f. Where did the inhabitants of Barcino used
to have fun?
g. Domus and tabernae
A domus is a building that was housed
by rich patrician families .
The lowest social classes lived at block
of collective houses named insulae.
These insulae were like our appartment
The tabernae were shops, commercial
stores where people used to eat, drink
or buy a product or a service (bread,
oil, wine, laundry..).
Plano de los restos encontrados en el cruce de Carrer de la Fruita con Carrer Sant Honorat.
Inscription dedicated to Lucius
There was a large colony of former
slaves freed by their masters,
lliberts, in Barcino. This marble
inscription, from the beginning of
the 2nd century AD, found in the
Palau Comtal Menor in Barcelona, is
dedicated to Lucius Licinius
Secundus, llibert of Lucius Licinius
Despite it being a small colony, Barcino's
citizens did not want for anything, as shown by
this 1st century AD glass urn found in Barcelona.