This was the whole Roman City when it was founded, back in the Ist Century B.C. So here you will find Roman remains such as the City Wall Watchtowers and the columns of Augustus Temple dating to the Ist Century B.C. .
In Barcelona's Downtown can be seen as well the Medieval City, built literaly on top of the Roman one several centuries later.
The neighborhood structure remained largely intact until the XIX Century, when the old medieval walls were demolished, and the parish cemeteries and spaces of convents and churches became public Squares and Markets, such us the famous Market La Boquería.
There are several possible routes through the Gothic Quarter to know better this area, Your Guide Barcelona offers you a very comprehensive, artistic and historical itinerary for you.
If you follow this itinerary you will not walk so much, because the distances between points of interest and highlights are short, but you have to take into account that it will take you about 2hours if you want to visit the monuments inside.
Walking through the Gothic Quarter
Catalonia Square and Ramblas
We suggest you to start this walking tour at the most famous Avenue in Barcelona's Downtown: Las Ramblas, next to Square Plaça de Catalunya, always taking the Avenue from the Square.
The Street of Las Ramblas really woth a visit on its own. Is a long avenue, occupying a total extension of 1,5 Km, so we reccomend you to enjoy it without any rush.
Visit or section dedicated to Las Ramblas to discover the beautiful buildings, while enjoying the performances of the street artists and products on sale all over the stalls of the Street.
This famous street was an ancient river channel, that channeled water to the sea, its name comes from the Arabian word Ram-la, wich means water torrent.
It was also the limit of the old medieval city, so a City Wall stands were here since the XIII Century. A century later, the town expanded, building a new City Wall beyond the Ramblas extension.
It was still an area of popular markets and fairs. Its development as the elegant Avenue and the street we can see today came with the final demolition of the medieval walls, in the middle of the XIX Century.
Portaferrissa: Gateway to Gothic Quarter
Descending from Plaza Catalunya, and always following Las Ramblas, take Portaferrissa street on the left hand side.
There you will see a Ceramic pannel showing the XIII Century medieval City Wall of Barcelona, standing once in Las Ramblas. Also here is visible a remarkable fountain, reminding the original wheel located in this former Gateway of the City Wall.
The Street will take you straight ahead to the Cathedralof Santa Eulalia, follow it towards the Cathedral, the main Church of Barcelona.
Plaça Nova: Cathedral's Square
You have all information about this monument in our section: Barcelona's Cathedral. Is an amazing XIV Century Church, pratly built in the Gothic Art Style, and dedicated to the sainte patroness of Barcelona, Santa Eulalia.
In the Plaça Nova (Cathedral's Square) there are remains of the Roman Barcelona, founded as a Roman Colony in the I Century B.C. under the Augustus Emperor Era. From there, always looking at the main the facade, turn to your left: there is the Bisbe Street.
Here you will see the bronze letters forming the name of the Roman City: Barcino; some archs reproducing the former Acqueduct of Barcelona; and 2 Watchtowers with remains of both, Roman and Medieval City Wall of the city. Cross between the old towes to continue your tour.
Plaça de Sant Felip Neri
Before going there, continue in Bisbe Street and turn 1st Street on your right named Montjuïc del Bisbe. All the way down you will see an extraordinary beautiful Square and the main building there, the Christian Catholic Church of Sant Felip Neri, built in the XVIII Century.
It is a small Square with a fountain in the center. There is a terrace bar located in the plaza, where you can sit down and relax for a while, and contemplate better the amazing Barroque Art Style Church, dedicated to the Jesuit saint Saint Felip Neri.
Take your time to look at the façade and seethe marks and holes in the lower part of the facade. Thses are the traces of the Spanish Civil War, one of the worst bombing raids during the war took place here, causing forty-two victims , including many children among them.
Next to the church, located in the right hand side to the main façade of the Temple, is the former Shoemaker's Trade House. The house was built in the XV Century, nawadays is housing the Museu del Calçat ( Shoemaker's Museum) , a building moved stone by stone in 1946 from its original location, near the Cathedral, in order to preserve the house instead of demolishing the building.
Beside this house, you will see the Boilermaker's Trade House, built in the XVI Century, and also moved here from its original previous location to build the Via Laietana St. in the XIX Century.
Plaça de Sant Jaume
Take now the other Street from the Square, Sant Sever Street to the left. Now is time to take back the Street El Bisbe turning to your right, all the way up. It will take you to the political center of the city, named Saint James Square, so Sant Jaume.
Main buildings here are the Autonomic Goventment Palace of Catalonia and the Barcelona's City Hall, located on in fron of the other one. You have all information about the Square and the buildings standing there in our Sction dedicated to it: Plaza de Sant Jaume.
This was the former Forum, so political, religious and administrative centre of the Colony back on the Roman Period , and it is still being the Political Centre of the City nowadays.
From St Jaume Square you can take the narrow street named Paradis, located in paralel to El Bisbe Street you where coming from, so with the Bisbe St. at your back and facing the Square, turn to your left had side.
It looks like there is no way out, trust us...if you follow the Paradís St., so Paradise, you will discover a real paradise: inside a private Apartment Building there is an internal underground level courtyard, get in and enjoy the viwe...doors are opened to visitors till 6pm in the afternoon.
There you will discover the amazing and so well preserved Roman columns remaining of the Temple dedicated to Emperor Augustus, built in the 1st Century B.C.
You can take a short break resting in the bench in front of the monument, as soon as you are ready to continue, leave the courtyard and go outside the building again.
Plaça del Rei
Following down the same Street, continue through the back part of The Cathedral, from there you will see the bell tower of the Church. Always all the way down, turning to your right you will find the beautiful Plaça del Rei, so The King Square.
In this suggesting Square there are very important and well preserved Gothic Art Style buildings. Main one is a palace knwon with the name of The Royal Palace, seat and residence of Counts and Kings of the Aragon Kingdom back on Middle Ages.
Standing on the right hand side to the King's Palace is still very well preserved the amazing Royal Chapel, built in the XIV Century and only used by kings or the Royal family.
There is a third building in this Square, opposite to the chapel: the impressive Vicereoy's Palace, built two centuries laterto be the residence of the Castillian King representative, in the XVI Century.
Plaça Ramón Berenguer III
All the way around you will see the Square from a different perspective, and how the Royal Chapel has been built literaly on top of the Roman City Wall, still preserve in this part of the Square.
Also there you will find an impressive statue, representing one of the monst important Counts of Barcelona: Ramón Berenguer III standing in his horse, giving the name to this Square. You are now in Via Laietana Street. If you continue turning around the Square you will be back into Cathedral's Square.
Santa Catalina's Market
We know for sure that, after this walking tour you may feel a bit hungry, so to finish your tour we reccomend you to go to Santa Catalina's Market, crossing the big Avenue Via Laietana and opposite to the Cathedral Square.
This was a former nun's convent dedicated to Santa Catalina, being transformed into a public and popular Market since late XIX Century. Visible in the underground level there are some amazing Medieval Remains of the former Church forming part of the original Convent construction.
Crowning the roof and visible from a very long distance, there are some beautiful and colorful ceramic decorations, made by Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue when the Market was refurbished some years ago. The decorations are emmulating the cerammic decorations used by Gaudí in the Park Güell.
There you can enjoy the ambient of the market, but you can also taste some Tapas based on the best market fresh product. This is the end of the walking tour...A cup of Spanish wine will give you back the energy to go on and enjoy more of the city.
If you wish to be accompanied and lead by an expert local tour guide through the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona leave us guide you, it will be a pleasure for us.