Palau de la Música,. This Modernist auditorium designed by Ramon Muntaner is the
most important modernist example in Ciutat Vella. It was made to be the headquarters of
the Orfeó Català, the oldest Catalan Choir. The most beautiful part is the stalls, although
all the building is impressive. There are plenty of allegories about music and Catalonia,
since the Orfeó Català is strongly bounded with the Catalan Renaixença, the romantic
movement that tried to recuperate the Catalan history, language and traditions. It is also
the best place in Barcelona to listen to symphonic music.
QUARTER OF RIBERA
The first documentary reference we find to the church of Santa Maria del Mar is in a text
from the year 998. This basilica is the work of the architect Berenguer de Montagut, and
the first stone was laid to commemorate the conquest of Sardinia, which completed the
Catalan domination in the Mediterranean initiated ten years earlier with the conquest of
Mallorca, and which reached its fullest extent with the entry of Sicily and Greece into the
dominions of the House of Barcelona .
Externally, it is the only perfectly-finished Catalan Gothic church. Its outer In the Catalan
style, there is a predominance of horizontal lines, of solid panels over empty spaces, of flat
terraces without roofs, and a preference for large bare surfaces. The buttresses are
swithout flying buttresses as in the European Gothic cathedrals, and the towers are
octagonal and flat-topped .
The interior of the church is of an extraordinary beauty and has exceptional acoustic
conditions that make it an ideal space for concerts, usually of classical and Oriental music
but occasionally of jazz.
Carrer Montcada, near C/Princesa, in the Born quarter. This street has the biggest
collection of Gothic houses in Barcelona. In amongst these houses is the Picasso
Museum, which is definitely worth a visit.
Passeig del Born This avenue goes from the Santa Maria del Mar church to the Born
market and is where the legendary jousting matches of the Middle Ages took place, as well
as numerous fairs and marches. This is also where men were knighted. It's a really old
street, very wide for the time.Don Quijote de la Mancha, the famous Cervantes character,
had a contest in this place.
Mercat del Born This market was the central market for Barcelona until the 1973 and its
closing marked the beginning of the neighborhood's decline before its current resurgence.
While undergoing renvoations, whole streets and homes from Phillipe V's orders were
discovered and archaeologists are now still studying the area.
Parc de la Ciutadella, at the end of C/Princesa. This park is Barcelona's most central
park, and includes a zoo, a lake and several museums. In fact, the park is so large, 74
acres, that the Catalan Parliament can be found in the center of the park. It's a great place
to enjoy games, sports or to spend a leisurely afternoon.
Plaça Sant Jaume. This square has been the political hub since the Roman era. At one
end there is the Palace of the Generalitat (the government of the Autonomous Community
of Catalunya) and on the other stands the City Hall. This square has been witness to some
of the most important events in recent Catalan history, such as the proclamation of the
Catalan State in 1931.
Plaça Reial. This square, next to La Rambla, is famous for the nightlife and the uniform
architecture. It was build during the XIX century in the place of a monastery, after the
Mendizábal law expelled the monks. A new square was built, making all the buildings look
the same, with fountains and palm trees. After some years, Antoni Gaudí, the famous
architect, designed the lights.
Plaça del Pi This square next to La Rambla is one of the prettiest parts of the quarter. It
has a pine tree in the middle (Pi means pine tree), the church of Santa Maria del Pi, which
is a very pretty Gothic church with a huge rose window. Many concerts are done here. The
Pi square and it's twin square, called Sant Josep Oriol, have several bars and artisans,
painters, musicians are there to sell their products.
The Cathedral of Santa Eulalia (also called La Seu) is the Gothic cathedral in
Barcelona. The cathedral was constructed throughout the 13th to 15th centuries on top of
a former Visigothic church. The Gothic-like façade is from the 19th century.
The cathedral is dedicated to sta Eulalia of Barcelona, co-patron saint of Barcelona, a
young virgin who, according to Catholic tradition, suffered martyrdom during Roman times
in Barcelona. The body of Saint Eulalia is entombed in the cathedral's crypt.
One side chapel is dedicated to "Christ of Lepanto", and contains a cross from a ship that
fought at the Battle of Lepanto (1571). The body of the cross is shifted to the right.
Catalan legend says that the body swerved to avoid getting hit by a cannonball. This is
believed to have been a sign from God that the Ottomans would be defeated.
The cathedral has a secluded Gothic cloister where thirteen white geese are kept (it is said
that Eulalia was 13 when she was murdered).