SEP 17,2016 - SEP 17,2016 (1 DAYS)
Start: Plaça de Catalunya. End: Palau Güell. Duration: 1 day. Distance: 8 km.
Orientation: The best self-guided walking tour of El Raval in the net. Remember: we devoted one whole blog to Sant Pau Hospital (NOT included in this daily blog). It is a circular route.
The daily El Raval tour is divided into two parts:
Tip 1: from Plaça de Catalunya to Mercado La Boqueria.
Tip 2: from La Boqueria to Palau Güell.
Tip 1 Main Attractions: Carrer dels Tallers, Plaça Vicenç Martorell, Chok, Church of Santa Maria de Montalegre, Plaça Castella, Plaça dels àngels, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), Plaça del Bonsuccés, L'Església de Betlem, the Church of Bethlehem, La Boqueria.
See Tip 2 (below) - for the next half of our daily itinerary in El Raval.
Tip 3: La Gardunya Restaurante, Carrer de Jerusalem, near Placa de Sant Josep (western side of Mercado La Boqueria).
Introduction: Walking down La Rambla from Plaça de Catalunya on your back, the section of the Old City to the right-hand side is known as El Raval. In the 1930s this area was one of the most densely populated urban areas in the world, when it became known as the Barri Xino (literally Chinese Quarter, but meaning "degenerate"). However, it is one of the districts of the city with the most potential and ambitious plans for regeneration. Although some areas are still fairly run-down and can sometimes feel decaying, significant number of the city's most interesting cultural activities are now taking place in El Raval.
From Plaça de Catalunya
we turn right (WEST) onto Carrer de Pelai, 210 m. Turn left onto Carrer de Jovellanos, 100 m. Turn right onto Carrer dels Tallers, 75 m. Carrer dels Tallers is a beautiful hidden street and can be seen as a sort of connection between El Barrio Gotico and El Raval. It is not at all full of tourists. The street is a very secret place, full of vintage stores, restaurants, bars and spots to relax. When entering the street from “Las Ramblas”, you walk across a tight and pretty dark side street:
The first road to our left is the Carrer de les Sitges (even narrower than Carrer dels Tallers):
Once you walk a little bit further down the street, Calle Tallers turns out to be a small but really beautiful “Plaza”:
Tip for a short detour: Holala!, Taller 73: selected-carefully vintage clothes, furniture and all kind of objects imported from France and the United States. Some of the items that they sell are truly unique and their prices are crazy, but the majority of the stuff has similar prices compared with high street shops. It is for girls and guys. Another branch is in Valldonzella 6.
On the 2nd road to the left (Carrer de les Ramelleres) - turn left Plaça Vicenç Martorell. The upper part of the Raval has long been thought of as more salubrious, and here you will find young couples sitting in the arcaded Plaça Vicenç Martorell drinking coffee while their children run around the central park. On one side of the square is the Casa de la Misericòrdia (1583), formerly a hospice for abandoned children:
The road that extends west to the Plaça Vicenç Martorell is Carrer de les Ramelleres. If we continue walking further (southward) along Carrer de les Ramelleres we the Chok - The Chocolate Kitchen. A small shop that sells chocolates, donuts and cakes along with other sweets. All the products are handmade in the shop and taste amazing. It also serves drinks. The coffee is one of their highlights. Expensive but rare, generous
pieces. Limited space to eat or sit there:
We trace back and return northwest along Carrer de les Ramelleres, 85 m. Turn left onto Carrer dels Tallers, 130 m. Turn left onto Carrer de Valldonzella for 90 m. and Esglesia De Santa María De Montalegre
Carrer de Valldonzella, 13, will be on the left. For over 700 years the Church of Santa Maria de Montalegre has stood paying homage to Our Lady of Joy (Alegre) in Barcelona. The Order of Canonesses of St. Mary of Montalegre was founded around a hermitage dedicated to Our Lady of Joy (“Alegre”) about the year 1100 in Tiana, a town some miles outside of Barcelona. As they community grew in size, the nuns were eventually able to build a priory near the town, which was completed by 1265. In 1362, the nuns expanded the project further with the construction of a new priory immediately outside the walls of the city, which made it closer for the residents of Barcelona. The order continued to grow, and absorbed the sisters from two other priories into their numbers. This led to the amalgamation of the two priories and hence the number of nuns grew more and more over the years. During the Renaissance the nuns refused to implement the new laws of the cloister required by their rule. In 1573 then-Archbishop Martinez de Villar banned the entry of new women to the novitiate of the Order; this effectively sealed its fate. This resulted in the culmination of the cause that the church was built for. However, by the order of Pope Clement VIII this law was dissolved and made ineffective in 1593. In 1598 the old buildings of the monastery were converted for use by the Archdiocese as a seminary, a role which they continued to play until the premises grew too small and a new seminary was built in 1772. The complex then mouldered until the beginning of the 19th century, when it was sold to the municipal government and converted for use as the city’s House of Charity (Casa de la Caritat), or municipal almshouse. It continued to serve this purpose until 1957, when the city moved these facilities to a new location:
We change direction, again. From Esglesia De Santa María De Montalegre
Carrer de Valldonzella, 13 we head northeast on Carrer de Valldonzella toward Carrer de Montalegre, 20 m. Now we face Plaça Castella in front, to our left. A lovely place in summer’s afternoon in Barcelona. It has a couple of cafés and bars with tables and chairs in the square, or if you prefer you can sit on the grass in the sun and gaze up at the beautiful church which overlooks the plaça (Parroquia de Sant Pere Nolasc Mercedarios).
There was a Vincentian monastery on the same spot where the present Parròquia de Sant Pere Nolasc stands. The present church was built between 1710 and 1746 in a Baroque style. The chapel was dedicated to St. Severus and St. Charles Borromeo. The church has a dome covered with a mosaic pattern of tiles, which is not common for Barcelona church architecture, and two bell towers at the entrance portico, the typical style of the Counter-Reformation churches of the period it was built. After reconstruction, Mercedarians took over the church, who renamed the building in homage of their founder, Barcelona's St. Pere Nolasc:
Turn right onto Carrer de Montalegre, 190 m. Turn right onto Plaça dels Àngels and Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, Plaça dels Àngels, 1 (MACBA) is on the right, 80 m. The Plaça dels àngels opens up into the unexpected space dominated by the breathtaking MACBA (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona). The museum was built in the grounds of the enormous Casa de la Caritat (poorhouse), which once provided a home for thousands of children. The former 18th-century hospice has now become the CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona), a cultural centre with a vibrant programme of exhibitions. Go through the central Patí de les Dones of the CCCB, a courtyard often used for performances or film festivals, into the Plaça Joan Coromines which links it with the MACBA. This area is a central part of the Sónar Festival every June, Barcelona's famed music festival. Plaça dels Àngels has become a daily hangout for hordes of young people. Lit up by blinding white light from the museum, the plaza’s mix of flat paving, steps, and stone benches creates the perfect arena for an international crowd of skateboarders who aren't shy about practicing their tricks while like-minded spectators cheer them on from their perches on the surrounding walls. Across the way, that CCCB (see below) cultural center reflects the backsides and heelflips of the skaters from its massive glass façade, and inside hosts a constantly varied range of events, exhibits, film series, festivals, and more. A slightly older bohemian crowd fills the numerous café terraces around the museum’s periphery, sipping claras (beer with lemonade) and enjoying yet another warm Barcelona evening in laid-back company. Hard to believe this area of El Raval was considered undesirable before the MACBA moved in, as Plaça dels Àngels is now part of one of the city’s coolest districts. The building’s architectural style has strong references to Modernism. This large (120 by 35 meters) white building has much of its southern elevation glazed, providing the visitor with views across the plaza, and allowing natural light into the interior:
Inaugurated in 1995, the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) is a vast white temple to modern art designed by American architect Richard Meier. Opening hours WED-MON: 11.00 - 20.00, from September 25: 11.00 - 19.30. Tuesdays: Closed. SAT: 10.00 - 15.00.Open Day, September 24: 10.00 - 20.00. Prices: adult -10 € (the admission ticket is valid for one month. It allows unlimited multiple entries to all current exhibitions for one month from the date of purchase). Concessions: 8 € (students, journalists, teachers, pensioners), free - children under 14. There is 6 museum pass for 30 euros. Museu Picasso (c/ Montcada 15-23); Fundació Joan Miró (Parc de Montjuïc); Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (Palau Nacional, Parc de Montjuïc); CCCB (c/ Montalegre, 5); Fundació Antoni Tàpies (c/ Aragó, 255); and MACBA (plaça dels Àngels, 1):
The better aspects of the MACBA museum are its exterior and its internal architectural design. The exhibitions that were on site during our visit were disappointing. Do inquire in advance on the current exhibitions ! Usually, there are no permanent exhibition-- only temporary ones. WE may dare saying: skip the MACBA:
Head east on Plaça dels Àngels toward Carrer de Montalegre, 80 m.
Turn left onto Carrer de Montalegre, 100 m. The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), Carrer de Montalegre, 5 (former Casa de la Caritat building-see above), is on your left (south). Opening hours: TUE - SUN: 11.00 – 20.00, Mondays - closed. Prices change according to the current exhibitions. FREE Sunday afternoons. Nearest Metro is station Universitat: Red L1, Purple L2. Opened in 1993, CCCB offers innovative programs with exhibitions, festivals, concerts, film series, talks, and panel discussions. The building is a mixture of old and new styles, dating from the early 18th century up to recent renovation of a facade in the Plaça de les Dones. The centre, one of the most visited museums in Barcelona, hosts temporary exhibitions, a cinema, concerts and other cultural events. It opened in 1994 as a centre of urban development and urban culture studies administered coinjointly by the City Council of Barcelona and Diputació of the province of Barcelona, but soon after that became a museum about eclectic and varied subjects ranging from photography to sculpture or video art. Our advice: skip it like the MACBA:
The :Thinking Machine” exhibition. Marking the 7th centenary of the death of Ramon Llull, (1232-1316) “The Thinking Machine” explores the impact of Llull’s thinking on today’s arts, literature, science and technology. Philosopher, logician, and writer, Ramon Llull (Anglicised Raymond Lully) is considered a pioneer of computation theory, especially given his influence on Gottfried Leibniz:
Very difficult to understand exhibition. The exhibition closes with Perejaume’s installation “La rel de l’arbre és una roda” [The root of the tree is a wheel], specially created for the exhibition:
Head southeast on Carrer de Montalegre toward Plaça dels Àngels, 130 m. Turn left onto Carrer d'Elisabets, 170 m. Before you continue direct (east) to Plaça del Bonsuccés - turn right (2nd turn to the right) to Carrer del Notariat to see the Against Muebles Siglo Xx, Carrer del Notariat, 9. Against specializes in architect designed furniture and decorative arts from the 20th century. A furniture boutique, for those with deep pockets, patience and time to have a look and appreciate immortal beauty of retro-designed goods and splendor of household furniture from mid-20th century. Open since 2000, featuring two floors packed with mid-century goods, Against is the place to find vintage furniture, ceramic objects, glass and plastic of European origin dating back to the early 1950s, as well as a wide collection of Spanish furniture from the 20th century. All items featured in the store, are carefully selected to bring good quality and originality. Opening hours: MON - FRI: 16.00 - 20.30, SAT: 11.00 - 14.00:
Continue onto Plaça del Bonsuccés, 30 m.
The Old Convent of the Bonsuccés is a building of the municipality of Barcelona (Barcelona) protected as a cultural asset of local interest . It is a convent built between 1626 and 1635 with Baroque style. It was abandoned in 1835, used as a barracks and, finally, demolished in 1945. Currently, there is only a five-story building body with a half-point arches gallery that is the headquarters of the Old City (Ciutat Vella) District Council and which since 1952 had served as the headquarters of the former fifth district. An interesting architectural element is the work portico of Mallorcan Miquel Perelló from 1690 which leads to Bonsuccés Square:
Head southwest on Plaça del Bonsuccés toward Carrer de les Ramelleres,
30 m. Turn left onto Carrer d'en Xuclà, 200 m. Turn left onto Carrer del Carme and, immediately, on your left is the Parròquia de la Mare de Déu de Betlem. L'Església de Betlem, the Church of Bethlehem, is a rare example of a baroque church in Barcelona and is located at La Rambla, 107 with the main entrance at Carrer del Carme, 2. La Mare de Déu de Betlem or Our Lady of Bethlehem was built on the site of an older church that dated from 1553 and was originally the main Jesuit school in the city. The school and chapel burnt down and the current building was constructed between 1680 and 1732 and at the time it was considered the most important church in Barcelona. The present church was designed by Josep Juli and begun several years later in 1680 with the first stone being blessed by Alfonso de Sotomayor Bishop of Barcelona in 1681. The works were directed by Jesuit priest Father Tort and by Dídac de Lacarse and completed by 1732 in a High Baroque style, although work on the decorations continued until 1855. In 1767 the Jesuits were expelled from Catalonia, and the Església de Betlem housed the Seminary Council of Barcelona from 1772 to 1878. The current parish was not officially created until 1835, but remains very active in providing aid to the poor in the local community of El Raval, traditionally part of the red-light district of Barcelona. In 1936 at the start of the Spanish Civil War, Betlem was burned by anarchists, causing the vaulting to collapse and all of the interior decoration to be destroyed. This is considered by most architectural historians to be among the greatest of the city’s losses during the Civil War as the Església de Betlem was possibly Barcelona's most ornately decorated church. Many important works by Baroque painter Antoni Viladomat were destroyed along with a sculpture of Saint Ignatius by Miquel Sala and the fine church organ. What we see today is a relatively austere church consisting of a single nave with altarpieces from other churches and private collections placed in the side chapels:
The main facade of the church on Carrer del Carme is visible as you walk up La Rambla due to a widening at that point. The main door is framed by two Solomonic columns and sculptures of the Jesuit saints Ignatius of Loyola and Francesc de Borja, both by Andreu Sala and dating from 1688. Above the door there is a nativity scene by Francesc Santacruz, who is also responsible for the sculpture of Sant Francesc Xavier on the corner of Carrer Xuclà:
Head southwest on Carrer del Carme toward Carrer d'en Xuclà, 50 m.
Turn left onto Carrer de les Cabres, 70 m. Carrer de les Cabres turns right and becomes Plaça de Sant Galdric, 30 m. In Plaça de Sant Galdric you can find the more budget stalls of La Boqueria market (the most expensive ones are in the entrance from La Ramblas). Usually, there is Farmers' Market in Plaça de Sant Galdric. Try to sample the small Bistro Au Port de la Lune in the Sant Galdric square. A quiet, French cuisine. Delicious portions. Menu del Dia in 12 or 15 euros. We enter La Boqueria market frim its rear side. Just off las Ramblas in the heart of the city and action in Barcelona. This outdoor covered market is very colorful, noisy and crowded. Watch your wallets and purses. You can shop for almost every food product imaginable and there are several sit down stalls to dine at. We did NOT get off our mind in this market. Quite conventional and NOT cheap.
El Ravel: Tip 2: from La Boqueria to Palau Güell:
Start: La Boquria End: Palau Güell.
Main Attractions: Parroquia Sant Pau del Camp, Teatre Tantarantana, Plaça del Pedró, El Gato de Botero, Filmoteca de Catalunya, Carrer d'en Robador, Església de Sant Agustí, Mosaic de Joan Miró o del Pla de l'Os, Palau Güell.
Our first destination (after leaving Mercado La Boqueria) is Parroquia Sant Pau del Camp in Carrer Sant Pau, 101. It is approx. 1 km. walk from La Boqueria. Turn right onto La Rambla. Continue to follow La Rambla 250 m and turn right (on the 4th road to the right) onto Carrer de Sant Pau. Go through 1 roundabout, 650 m. The Sant Pau del Camp is on your left. This small Romanesque church along the Carrer de Sant Pau is a haven of peace, away from the noise and bustle of Barcelona's Raval quarter. Its thick stone walls display the mysteries and wonders of a primitive architectural style steeped in symbolism which tells us about the past when convents dotted the Barcelona landscape. Sant Pau del Camp, commonly known as Saint Paul of the Countryside comprises an old church and an attached monastery. The ancient Romanesque church of Sant Pau del Camp usually holds claim to being the oldest standing church in the city of Barcelona, a title for which it competes with the Chapel of En Marcus and Sant Pere de les Puelles. The first documentary evidence of Sant Pau del Camp occurs in the 4th century, when a church dedicated to St. Paul is described as having coming within the newly expanded city walls. The term “camp” means “field”, indicating the fact that the site was originally set outside the city; a similar building title recording the original site of a congregation can be found in the example of London’s famous church of St.Martin-in-the-Fields. Something reasonably substantial was probably built on the site, since column capitals and other sculptural items from the Visigothic period (7th and 8th centuries) can be found in the facade and in odd corners of the present structure. OPening hours: MON - SAT: 10.00 - 13.30, 16.00 - 19.30. Prices: 3 euros, concessions (pensioners): 2 euros, student - 1 euro. Guided tours in Catalan (with reservations in advance) - Sundays - 12.45, FREE (no guided tours in the 2nd and 3rd Sundays of August):
In 1096 Catalan nobles Geribert Guitard and his wife Rotlendis offered the site to the Benedictine monks of the Monastery of Sant Cugat, in the northern suburbs of Barcelona. They, in turn, offered the site to the Pope, and in 1117 the monastery was re-founded as a dependent of Sant Cugat, as documented in a bull of Pope Urban II. Although the Pope ordered that the Bishop of Barcelona and members of the City Council look after the monks, in practice they were largely administered by the Benedictines in Sant Cugat. The cloister was completed about 100 years later, and outbuildings continued to be added as needed. By 1098, a local noble family of the Bell-Lloc region had completed the restoration of the church, and it was a Benedictine monastery by 1117. For many years the Catalan noble family of Bell-Lloc were the protectors of the monks, and their names appear in a number of the graves on the site. Construction on the new church probably began around 1127 and continued until the end of the 1200’s. In 1577 Pope Gregory XIII issued a bull ceding control over Sant Pau del Camp to the Benedictine Abbey of Montserrat. This move proved to be unpopular with the resident monks, and so in 1593 this union was terminated. In 1616 the Monastery was united with the Monastery of Sant Pere de la Portella, which lay close to the Pyrenees, and apparently most of the Benedictines from Portella decided to leave the mountains and move down to better accommodations at Sant Pau del Camp. The 19th century essentially killed off the monastic community here, as it did in many other places in the city. In 1808 during the Napoleonic wars, Sant Pau del Camp was occupied and turned into a hospital, and later a barracks, which it remained until 1814. The monks returned briefly, but in 1820 the monastery was closed and the chapel became a parish church. Sant Pau del Camp continued to be simply a parish until 1828 when the monks again returned, only to be finally expelled in 1835. The chapel became a parish church again, and the rest of the complex was sold off as public property, with most of the buildings eventually being torn down. Fortunately, in 1896 the cloister was saved and re-integrated to the building. Like many others, the church was burned by the Socialists in 1905 and in 1936, but was subsequently restored and parish life restored.
Indeed, the monastery's church and cloister are in an extremely good state of repair. The simple structure, with its cross-shaped ground plan and three apses, has simple decorations along the top of the row of blind arches around the outside, which are underpinned by head-shaped reliefs. The main doorway of Sant Pau's church, with its round arch, beckons us inside this peaceful building. The principal door to the church is reached from the Carrer de Sant Pau. The door is flanked by two columns supporting the round arch. The decoration of the door complex is in the Visigothic tradition: two marble Visigothic capitals, presumably recovered from the older building, carry imposts with geometrical motifs. The facade carries the symbols of the four evangelists: at the base of the arch we find a lion (St Mark, on the left), an ox (St Luke) and above the arch, on the wall, a winged man (St Matthew) and an eagle (St John):
The monastery itself is so old that there are no accurate historical records that can confirm exactly when it was established, but experts are of the opinion that the monastery was formed in the 9th century. The first complex stood in its original form till the year 985, when the edifice was attacked and almost destroyed by Muslim soldiers, forcing the monks to abandon it. Several years later, in 1096, the structure underwent restoration and new monks arrived to take control of the order. Once again, it was attacked in 1114. In 1117, the monastery became the priory of Sant Cugat after which it underwent a second round of restorations. The building, as seen today, is adorned with scenes from the Bible, along with those of animal life, vegetable motifs, monsters and various scenes from life. if you look at the capitals you'll discover all kinds of geometrical, plant-like and fantastic motifs. Two of them are particularly eye-catching: Adam and Eve, standing next to the tree with the serpent, and a women being tormented by two toads which are devouring her breasts. The tympanum of the church has an image of Christ with Saint Paul and Saint Peter. The building has been declared a National Monument:
Hand of God:
Adam and Eve tempted by the Serpent (picture below, left side):
This small and intimate space in Barcelona's Raval takes us back to the past of Barcelona city's convent neighbourhood and, from the church, we come out into the Sant Pau del Camp's monastery splendid cloister with its polylobulate arches. Like a game of I-Spy, if you look at the capitals you'll discover all kinds of geometrical, plant-like and fantastic motifs. Two of them are particularly eye-catching: Adam and Eve, standing next to the tree with the serpent, and a women being tormented by two toads which are devouring her breasts. Time has certainly stood still at Sant Pau del Camp's church and monastery.
we come out into the Sant Pau del Camp's monastery splendid cloister with its polylobulate arches. Like a game of I-Spy, The cloister’s arches, unique throughout Europe, reflect a strong Muslim influence, playing with volumes and depths in Arabic style
The tombstone of the second count of Barcelona, Wifred II (897-911), son of Wifred the Hairy, was discovered in the monastery during sixteenth century restorations:
From Sant Pau del Camp head southwest on Carrer de Sant Pau toward Carrer de les Carretes, 180 m. Turn right onto Ronda de Sant Pau, 550 m. This is a pleasant tree-lined avenue.Here, you can make a short detour to the Teatre Tantarantana. From Ronda de Sant Pau turn right to Carrer de les Flors, 22 where the Teatre Tantarantana resides. A place of contemporary and alternative theatre productions. It is a rather small theatre in Barcelona. The Tantarantana Theatre now consists of more seats as well as a larger stage capacity for 125 spectators. The theatre basically displays experimental plays and contemporary works. The plays performed here are well appreciated and usually sold out. Other attractions include entertainment for children in the form of puppet shows and pantomimes. These shows are usually scheduled for early evenings in order to accommodate children and their parents. Tickets can be booked in advance, and one may be able to purchase them by contacting the theatre:
Turn right onto Carrer de Sant. Note the building #8 (on your left) in Carrer Antoni Abat:
Walking 110 m. further eastward along Carrer de Sant Antoni Abat will bring us to Plaça del Pedró. Two roads converge into Plaça del Pedró: Carrer del Carme, that leads to the Barcelona Cathedral and Betlehem Church and Carrer de l'Hospital that down to the medieval Sant Pau hospital and La Boqueria market: a clear choice between soul and body. Named for a stone pillar (pedró) marking the fork in the road, the square became a cherished landmark for Barcelona Christians after Santa Eulàlia, co-patron of Barcelona, was crucified here in the 4th century. As the story goes, an overnight snowfall covered her nakedness with snow. The present version of Eulàlia and the cross was sculpted by Barcelona artist Frederic Marès and erected in 1951:
The grandiose Sant Pau hospital is nearby. We ignore it at the moment and devote a whole blog (allow, at least, half a day) for this wonderful attraction.Our next destination is the most southern end of Rambla del Raval. This is the newest of Barcelona's Ramblas. It runs from Carrer Sant Pau to Carrer Hospital, and has become one of the meeting points for the communities of immigrants who live in this part of Barcelona. The construction of the avenue led to the demolition of a number of streets and insalubrious buildings. The street collaborates in the social integration of disadvantaged groups, and has also become a perfect public space for all kinds of cultural events. a broad avenue which attracts people from diverse social, cultural and geographical backgrounds. The inauguration of the Barcelo Raval new hotel in 2008, the opening of modern restaurants and the new Cinematheque (the Filmoteca) transformed the Rambla del Raval into one of the favourite streets among young locals and visitors who see how the district is changing day after day. Our stop is at the end of the avenue, the El Gato de Botero: an enormous Cat statue by Fernando Botero which looks on impassively with a smile on its face. It feels right at home here. Head northeast on Plaça del Pedró toward Carrer d'Erasme de Janer, 20 m. Turn right to stay on Plaça del Pedró, 30 m. Turn left onto Carrer de l'Hospital, 150 m. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Rambla del Raval and walk down further for 230 m. The El Gato de Botero is on the left. Fernando Botero's Cat was purchased by Barcelona City Council in 1987. From then until 2003 the cat wandered the city's streets in search of a permanent site. His first stop-off point was the Parc de la Ciutadella, near his fellow animals at Barcelona Zoo. Then he was taken to a site by the Olympic Stadium, and a few years later he was put in a little square behind Barcelona's medieval shipyards. Finally, in 2003, the decision was taken to move him to a permanent location at the end of the newly created Rambla del Raval:
Head northwest on Rambla del Raval toward Carrer Sant Antoni de Pàdua, 10 m. Turn right onto Carrer Sant Antoni de Pàdua, 40 m. Continue onto Carrer de Sant Josep Oriol, 80 m. Turn right onto Plaça de Salvador Seguí for 60 m. and the Filmoteca de Catalunya, Plaça de Salvador Seguí, 1-9 will be on the right. You can "catch" foreign-language films (translated into Catalan). Some of them are even FREE. In addition to two cinemas totalling 555 seats, the Filmoteca comprises a film library, a bookshop, a cafe, offices and a dedicated space for exhibitions. In 2012 the Filmoteca de Catalunya relocated to its current headquarters in El Raval:
Head BACK northwest on Plaça de Salvador Seguí toward Carrer de Sant Josep Oriol, 60 m. Turn right at Carrer de Sant Josep Oriol, 40 m. Turn left onto Carrer d'En Robador. Carrer d'en Robador is a dark narrow street in the heart of La Rambla. It was famous for being Barcelona's red light district in the past. Nowadays, it is much more conservative, but nevertheless, has preserved the atmosphere. There are many bars on this street:
Head northwest on Carrer d'En Robador toward Carrer de Sant Rafael, 130 m. Turn right onto Carrer de l'Hospital, 120 m. Turn right onto Plaça de Sant Agustí to see the The church of San Agustín (in Catalan , Església de Sant Agustí ,Plaza de San Agustín, 2). It is also called San Agustín Nuevo (in Catalan , Sant Agustí Nou ) to distinguish it from the church of the old convent of San Agustín , also sometimes called San Agustín Viejo (in Catalan , Sant Agustí Vell ). Popularly known also as the "Cathedral of the Poor". It is a single-nave church, very spacious, with side chapels, covered with a barrel vault with lunettes. The unfinished façade is the work of Pere Costa:
From here we move to our almost final destination in El Raval - Mosaic de Joan Miró o del Pla de l'Os, La Rambla. Head northeast on Plaça de Sant Agustí toward Carrer de l'Arc de Sant Agustí, 30 m. Turn left to stay on Plaça de Sant Agustí, 30 m. Turn right onto Carrer de l'Hospital, 110 m. Turn right onto La Rambla, 15 m. The Mosaic de Joan Miró o del Pla de l'Os is on the left. The mosaic is circular like the cosmos and its basic colours are: yellow, blue and red. Tens of thousands of people walk over Joan Miró's pavement mosaic in the centre of Barcelona's Rambla. It goes unnoticed by some, others stop to look at the characteristic colours used by the Barcelona-born artist. Joan Miro chose this spot, near his birth house in Barri Gothic, in 1976 and designed this wonderful, colorful mosaic in the pavement. This place is close to the Passatge del Crèdit, the exact place where he had been born 83 years earlier. His intention was for passers-by to walk over the mosaic, and he wasn't concerned about it getting damaged. However, over the years, the cobblestones deteriorated and the colours faded, and in 2006, the Barcelona City Council decided to restore this Joan Miró's milestone to mark its 30th anniversary:
Now, we move to our last final attraction in El Ravel - Palau Güell. From Mosaic de Joan Miró o del Pla de l'Os, La Rambla, head southeast down along La Rambla toward Carrer de Sant Pau, 220 m. Turn right onto Carrer Nou de la Rambla, walk 70 m. and Güell, Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 3-5 Palau Güell will be on the left.
Note: you may arrive to the palace at the late afternoon hours. Be in-sync with the following opening hours. Summer opening hours (1st April to 31th October): 10.00 - 20.00. Winter opening hours (1st November to 31th March): 10.00 - 17.30 pm. Closed: Mondays, except public holidays, 25th and 26th December, 1st January and Third week of January (for maintenance). Prices: GENERAL - €12, CONCESSIONS - €9, FREE - Children under 10 years of age. The audio tour is included in your entry fee. They do have 'free tour days' during the week, so check with them ahead of time to avoid paying the entrance fee. Public Transport: On the metro: The closest metro station is Liceu, line 3. By bus: Numbers: V13, 59, 91, 120 and Barcelona Bus Turístic Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona. On the FGC local railway: The following Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) lines go to Plaça Catalunya (Catalunya station): L6, L7, S1, S2, S5, S55. There is no food or drink sold inside. Opposite the ticket office in the street you can find a supermarket to get a bottle before you enter. Toilets - in the entrance.
There's little place to seat and relax inside but at the very entrance. If you come from a long walk - rest before the visit. This old house is 5 or 6 stories high with lots of stairs to climb. It's not an enjoyable place to visit if you have problems walking or in a wheelchair.
Palau Güell (1886-1890) is a magnificent example of domestic architecture in the context of Art Nouveau. "Palau Guell" was built between 1886 and 1888 by the Catalan architect Antoni.Gaudi for the Industrial tycoon Eusebi.Guell. It was the home of the Güell i López family until they moved to Park Güell. Palau Güell was one of the first important commissions Antoni Gaudí received at the start of his career. Eusebi Güell (industrialist, politician and patron of the arts) wanted Gaudí to build him this peculiar urban palace as an extension of the family home on La Rambla. This casa was the first commission that Gaudi undertook for Guell. Gaudí designed a functional palace adapted to the family's needs in both their private life and the intense cultural and social life they led. A lot of his early architectural ideas are incorporated in this home. The building is noteworthy for its innovative conception of space and light. In building Palau Güell Gaudí used a variety of solutions based on very personal approaches and created exceptional expressive forms, the fruit of his imagination, using noble traditional materials (stone, wood, wrought iron, pottery, glass, etc.). It is a wonder that Guell did not live here for many years. It was declared a historical-artistic monument by the Spanish Government (in 1969), Cultural Asset of National Interest by the Catalan Government and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (in 1984). As an early work, the building contains the essence of Gaudí's later works and is fundamental to understanding his architecture. We found this building a great surprise and found it very interesting. We think it was also the most reasonably priced attraction in BCN and in our opinion well worth the money. Directions are easy to follow. Allow, easily, 1-1.5 hours admiring every detail. The house is quite spectacular inside but it’s the colourful and interesting chimneys on the roof that made it for me. Every room has different architecture, different types of walls and ceiling and lighting. The woodwork everywhere throughout the building is incredible. The organ in the main lobby is played each half hour. Unfortunately, the outside appearance is not something special. So, if you are not planning to visit it inside then there is no reason to go and see it from outside:
La Gardunya Restaurant, Jerusalem 18, west side of La Boqueria, near Placa Sant Josep:
Service and staff - superb. Food - delicious. Excellent Paellas. Prices: average. Location - convenient. DO NOT come at night. There other creatures into the dark, market alleys (except of human beings...). Eat inside(AC) rather than on the patio or outside seats (construction works, noisy).