Barri Gotic Walking Tour, Barcelona

The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona seems like a cut above the rest. It boasts a number of famous buildings, cathedrals and monuments. The area has many peaceful squares where you can relax and enjoy the surroundings. Take this tour to travel back in time and discover all the secrets of Barcelona's Gothic Quarter.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Barri Gotic Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Barri Gotic Walking Tour
Guide Location: Spain » Barcelona (See other walking tours in Barcelona)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 17
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 km
Author: clare
Catedral de Barcelona (La Seu)

1) Catedral de Barcelona (La Seu) (must see)

La Seu, or the Barcelona Cathedral is one of the most famous and most celebrated sites and religious structures in the city; a classic example of 14th-century Gothic architecture.

This church, constructed on an elevated ground, is considered to be the city's religious centre. Historical records suggest that this site was previously occupied by a temple and later a mosque before the cathedral was established.

Perhaps the most well known religious structure present in Barcelona is Antonio Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, but the Barcelona Cathedral firmly holds its position as one of the most magnificently built structures in the country. The cathedral is a tasteful and splendid blend of both Renaissance and medieval designs. It also features a tall bell tower which is also a classic example of Gothic art and architecture.

Behind the high altar of the cathedral, there is a beautiful alabaster sarcophagus of the cathedral’s patroness, Santa Eulalia, who was also the co-patroness of the city of Barcelona. According to historical records, Santa Eulalia was burned at the stake by the Romans for her firm and staunch beliefs, which contradicted with the Roman teachings. It has become a tradition for visitors to the Cathedral to leave their coins here.

Why You Should Visit:
A very nice mix of church, mini park, place to relax, place to pray...

Free to visit before 1pm and after 5:45pm (weekdays), with different schedules for weekends and public holidays.
For a €3 fee, you can take the lift up and get fabulous views over the rooftops of the city.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Casa de l'Ardiaca

2) Casa de l'Ardiaca

The Casa de l’Ardica in Barcelona has been home to hierarchy since the 12th century. The place underwent numerous modifications and expansion projects throughout the years which resulted in the connection of the structure with the residence of the Dean, as seen today. The building was created under the famous Gothic style of architecture in Barcelona; however, its courtyard reflected more of a Renaissance style with the way it was adorned. One is reminded of Romeo and Juliet while gazing upon the magnificent staircase leading to the terrace above. Behind the building, is the historical wall of Barcelona, giving the area more richness in cultural history and art.

The Casa de l’Ardiaca, commonly known as the Archdeacon’s house is also home to various archaeological relics that have been unearthed around the area. With the gothic style building, the renaissance style courtyard and the historical artefacts, this place is truly an amalgamation of numerous styles, eras and rich history and culture.

The Casa de l’Ardiaca and all of the surprises that it has to offer, is open to visitors from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 8.45 pm. It is open from the 1st of September till the 1st of July. From the 2nd of July till the 31st of August however, the timings are from 9am-7.30 pm Mondays to Fridays.
Plaça Nova

3) Plaça Nova (must see)

At Plaça Nova in Barcelona, visitors and art lovers can feast their eyes upon the countless pieces that are part of the collection here. The entire place reflects the rich history of Barcelona including the historical passageway in the wall of the city. Among the numerous impressive objects and artifacts that one can find here, there are also famous frescos by Pablo Picasso. The exact year of the origin of Plaça Nova and when it was built is not known, but historians have marked 1358 as the year from which its record can be traced. This was one of the four main entrances into the Roman City of Barcelona. One can observe Gothic art and architecture in the surroundings.

Situated on the opposite side of the Plaça Nova is the famous Architects’ Association building, locally known as the Col·legi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya. By far the most impressive and magnificent sight to behold in the area are the sand cast friezes surrounding the structure. Pablo Picasso was the mastermind behind the designing of these artistic friezes.

Visitors can reach this destination via metro L4, from the stop Jaumel. They can also take Bus no.17, 19, 40 and 45, all of which will stop at the Plaça Nova.

Around August 16, on the day of Sant Roc, a feast is held that preserves many unique traditions and festive elements of Barcelona, making it one of the most unique celebrations of the city.
Mercat Gòtic de Antiguitats

4) Mercat Gòtic de Antiguitats

Mercat Gòtic de Antiguitats is an outdoor flea market in the Gotic Quarter of Barcelona. It is held every Thursday in the summer until beginning of August at the Plaza Nova. The Mercat Gòtic was established in 1978 with the intention of showcasing antiques and collectibles objects to the general public. The flea market gathers over 28 vendors, who sell a wide range of antiques including clocks, books, dolls, porcelain, cameras, siphons, posters, jewelry, silver objects, religious pictures, fans, postcards, clothing and many more.

Operation Hours Every Thursday: 10 am - 9 pm
Plaça de Sant Felip Neri

5) Plaça de Sant Felip Neri

The Plaça de Sant Felip Neri is located in the Barri Gòtic, a romantic, quaint square which is one of the hidden secrets of Barcelona. The famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, was run over on his way here by a tram, in 1928.

The Plaça de Sant Felip Neri is located on top of a medieval cemetery. In 1752, a baroque church was built here. During the Spanish Civil War, 20 children sought refuge within this church and were hit by a bomb. There were no survivors and even today this church is a reminder of the tragic history of this incident. The remnants of the damage the church suffered due to the explosion are still visible on the church’s façade.

Many tourists visit the peaceful square of the Plaça de Sant Felip Neri today to witness first-hand left over evidence of the Spanish Civil War, and to remember those people who lost their lives here. The square has a peaceful setting and it is difficult to imagine that summary executions also took place here in the past during the fall of Barcelona. A shoe museum is also located here which has Christopher Columbus’s shoes as one of its main exhibits.
Church of Sant Felip Neri

6) Church of Sant Felip Neri (must see)

Located in a small square very close to the famous Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona is the Church of Sant Felip Neri. This particular area, which is also commonly known as the Gothic District of the city, was once a prominent Jewish square. The church itself is situated in the exact centre of the Placa Sant Felip Neri and has a distinct trapezoid-shaped structure.

Visiting the church is an adventure in itself because the area is little known to the outside world and hence does not commonly appear on maps. The streets leading to the church are rather dingy, dark and dirty and may make the visitor think twice about visiting the place altogether. But once the destination is reached, one can simply stand and marvel at the architectural wonder that the church is and all the history surrounding it.

Another rather confusing factor is the fact that this particular church has two entrances instead of the conventional main entrance. If one visits this church during the day, one can appreciate its history and glory in its crumbling walls. However, after nightfall, a visit to the Church of Sant Felip Neri is nothing short of magical. Perhaps it is for this reason that it is recommended that the church should be visited twice in order to view and appreciate both the aspects.

Why You Should Visit:
Located in one of Barcelona's most romantic spots; all the surroundings are full of buildings of great beauty, and of extreme importance in the history of the city.

If you're lucky enough, you may see a musician here; they love the square because of its exceptional acoustics. A café is also located in the square.
Pont del Bisbe

7) Pont del Bisbe

Pont del Bisbe bears the name of Obispo Irurita, who was the bishop of Barcelona. (Pt. "bisbe" = En. "bishop"). He, in the 1930s, sympathized with the Carlists, did everything in his power to curb the use of the Catalan language in church. When the Civil War broke out, the bishop reportedly went hiding in the house of Jewish jewelers but was found there and shot dead by CNT-FAI militants along with all the other inhabitants. There are several accounts of that event with some contradicting facts not fully explained to this very day. After the war, in gratitude for his affection towards the regime, the victorious dictator Franco sought to ennoble the bishop and put his name on many streets throughout the country.

Pont del Bisbe is nowadays one of the iconic places of the Gothic Quartier, and one of the most favorite touristic spots to photograph.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palau de la Generalitat

8) Palau de la Generalitat

The Palau de la Generalitat is counted amongst the most historically rich places in Barcelona. As the name indicates, it is home to the offices of the Generalitat of Spain. It was originally built for the same purpose and even today acts as structure that houses governmental institutions. The building was built during the medieval era which makes it one of the very few structures in all of Europe from that time period.

Located in the Ciutat Vella district of the city, the original form of the building and its anterior façade was designed by Pere Blai in 1596. This façade faces the Placa de Sant Jaume and is unique in the fact that it is perhaps the only façade built based on this style in all of Barcelona. The first building to be purchased here was in the early fourteen hundreds after which various other houses were bought and amalgamated with the Palau.

The fact that the Palau currently holds the seat of Spain’s Government and Presidency of the Generalitat, makes it much more distinguished among all other buildings that are of the same era. It also has a lot of history associated to it which takes its grandeur to a higher level.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Plaça de Sant Jaume

9) Plaça de Sant Jaume

The Saint James’s square, locally known as the Placa Sant Jaume is the heart of Barcelona in terms of administration. Placa de Sant Jaume is where some of the major roads cross, which include the former Cardo road, Decumanus road and Barcino road. The Square hence, has plenty of history to boast, including the fact that this was the site where the Temple of Augustus and the Forum were constructed. Four columns of the temple have been preserved and can still be seen today atop the Mont Taber.

The presence of the Church of Saint James at this site since the medieval era is how the square acquired its name. The meeting of the city council was held at the porch in front of the temple each day. Since then, the square underwent various demolitions and modifications. It must be noted that initially the square was confined to a rather small area; it expanded to its current form following demolitions of structures around it.

According to historical evidence, this place was also known as the Constitution Square, and the same name is present written across a plaque which can be seen on the City Hall. Today, the Town House, the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya, as well as the City Council Headquarters can be seen at this square.
Temple d'August

10) Temple d'August

Declared as a cultural asset of national interest, the temple of Augustus situated in Barcelona was built during the Imperial Period as a temple for the Emperor Augustus. During that time, this Roman temple was the city’s central structure located on Taber Hill, in the Gothic district of Barcelona. The original temple was destroyed at some point in history and archeologists failed to recover the remains till the 19th century. It was then that initially 3 columns of the temple, followed by the fourth one were found and are visible today near the Place del Rei and the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya. According to some historical references, the Temple d’August is believed to have been constructed under Tiberius.

According to studies, the temple originally had 11 columns on every wing, one on each corner, 6 at the front and 6 on the posterior side. The temple of Augustus is a cultural asset and centre of Barcelona and the fact that it has been preserved so well attracts a great number of tourists to come see it every year.

The Roman temple is located in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona and hence is surrounded by some of the most magnificent structures depicting and reflecting Gothic art and history.
Palau del Lloctinent

11) Palau del Lloctinent

The Palau del Lloctinent was built in the early 1550s as a home to the Spanish Viceroy. It is now residence to Arxiu de la Corona d’Aragon. The fascinating thing about this place is all the history associated to it. Various documents, papers and other similar items from the twelfth century have been preserved here. Visitors can even see some of these documents featured in the exhibitions that often take place here.

The building has three distinct façades. The mastermind behind the designing of this structure was Antoni Carbonell who gave the building a Gothic Renaissance look that was typical during that era when it was built in 1557. It is one of the most spectacular buildings in the gothic district of the Catalan city of Barcelona today owing to its immense simplicity and grace. These qualities make the building impossible to miss. It includes heavy, intricate arches made of stone over the entrance. The stairs have a wooden roof over them setting a classic example of the architecture that was famous during the 16th century. There was a Sant Joridi sculpture in the building that was later replaced by a door near the staircase. The Palau organizes regular exhibitions of historic documents, relics and other objects based on the life of Jaume I for visitors to see. One can also find music concerts being held here often.
Museu Frederic Marès

12) Museu Frederic Marès (must see)

The Museu Frederic Marès in Barcelona, as the name suggests, is dedicated to showcasing the collections of its founder, Frederic Mares. He was born in 1893 and died in 1991. It was Frederic Marès who helped establish this impressive museum in the Catalan capital with his donations; the project reached its completion in 1946.

Many modifications have taken place at the museum since its establishment but the original courtyard garden has been preserved in its original form. Marès gave a whole new meaning and form to the conventional concept of sculpture. As a collector, he gathered a priceless variety of Hispanic sculptures throughout his life. Pieces from the ancient world to those dated the 19th century can be seen in this collection, along with the religious polychrome carvings widely present on many of the pieces displayed in the museum.

Here, visitors can see the Collector’s cabinet where one can feast eyes upon the countless magnificent pieces of art and artefacts that depict the lifestyles of the 19th century. Among these objects, one can find interesting items such as old photographs and documents, jewellery, clocks, reliquaries, pipes, keys etc. The museum offers an unforgettable experience and an amazing atmosphere to all its visitors.

Why You Should Visit:
If you are into Baroque, Medieval, Renaissance or ancient sculpture, this is the place for you.
Be sure to take a look at the many stone treasures from ancient Roman times on the bottom -1 floor as well.

There is a courtyard restaurant in the summer; almost hidden away, but friendly and with delightful food and drink.
Sit at the table and be surrounded by medieval buildings!

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 10am-7pm; 11am-8pm
Plaça del Rei

13) Plaça del Rei (must see)

Barcelona is known for being home to countless magnificent historical buildings and places of worship depicting various forms of Roman art. The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona consists of some of the greatest examples of Roman art and architecture. But by far the most picturesque and also the oldest of all the structures present in the Gothic Quarter of the city is the Placa del Rei.

According to historical records, it was at this place that Ferdinand and Isabella received Christopher Columbus after he returned from his successful journey to the New World along with the rest of the members of his crew. The history connected to this particular building is truly spell-binding as one can actually picture the scene as it happened at this very spot years and years ago.

The main room of the plaza called the Salo del Tinell was constructed in 1362 and is a splendid banquet hall. The lieutenant’s Palace or the Palau del Lloctinent is another building in the same vicinity. Adding an impressive view to the location is King Martin’s Watchtower which was built in the 15th century. On the right side is the admirable Capilla Reial De Santa Agueda, or St. Agatha’s Royal Chapel. There are a many more interesting structures in the surrounding area as well which make the Placa del Rei a must visit for everyone.

Why You Should Visit:
Very interesting walk through the Roman era of Barcelona.
Not only describes the history of Roman and early Christian times but goes underground to show you Roman ruins from the earliest settlement.

Enjoy a cervessa, tapa or a mojito at this quaint plaza!
Chapel of Santa Àgata

14) Chapel of Santa Àgata (must see)

Capella de Santa Àgata was constructed in 1302 by King James II of Aragon and his wife Blanca of Naples to join the Royal Palace and replace the old chapel that was in this palace. The chapel style is Gothic Catalan. It has a single nave with a rectangular apse Polygon, a small cruise to the chapel of the Queens, where you can see the coats of Maria of Navarre and of Eleanor of Sicily. On the part of the sacristy is the octagonal bell tower, with completion in eight triangular pediments like a royal crown, it was built in the first quarter of the fourteenth century. Sculptor John Claperós, under the rule of King Pedro of Portugal (the 1,463th-1,466th), made sixty clay tiles with representations of angels and the coat of arms of Aragon and Sicily.

Why You Should Visit:
Another beautiful Catalan monument in the beautiful Gothic Quarter, that should not be missed when visiting the History Museum (your visit is included in the entrance price of the Museum).

Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without a flashlight.

15) Papirum

Papirum is a store located on 2 Libreteria street, Barri Gothic district, that offers a broad variety of stationery products: books bound in leather, hand-painted paper, parchment, writing paper and accessories. There is everything for writing you can possibly imagine and even more. Hours of operation: Monday-Friday 10:00-20:30, Saturday 10:00-14:00 and 17:00-20:30.
Plaça de Sant Just

16) Plaça de Sant Just

Placa Sant Just lies deep in the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. Rumors have it that it was once the burial place of the first local Christian martyrs. Back in the Middle Ages it was the only place of Barcelona where Jews and Christians were allowed to trade legally together. A testament to that period is the 14th century fountain - equivalent of today's water cooler - where all sorts of commercial dealings and information exchange took place.

The Church of the Martyred Saints Just & Pastor is said to contain remains of the two martyrs. Looking from the outside it is hard to imagine that this plain stone edifice, originally built by the Visigoths, was ever used for anything as grand as a cathedral. Yet it served this purpose while the present cathedral was still under construction and if you go inside you'll understand why. Looking up from the wooden benches, the magnificent stained glass windows come into sight. Walk forward and you'll find yourself in a chapel adorned with statues and chandeliers. If hungry and wish to soak up the atmosphere of the square, have a dinner outside at the Café de l'Academia.
Church of Saints Justo and Pastor

17) Church of Saints Justo and Pastor

The church of Saints Justo and Pastor is an ancient church, perhaps one of the oldest in the city of Barcelona. It was built in the memory of the two great martyrs Saint Justo and Pastor who lost their lives in the fourth century. A major part of the church represents the Visigothic style of art and architecture which was part of the later modifications that were done on the structure.

Back in the eleventh century, this particular church was a cathedral during the time that the Romanesque cathedral was under construction. Like many other buildings that were constructed during those times in this specific part of the city, the church boasts Gothic architecture. Some of the relics that once belonged to these two saints have been preserved in a chest and are present in this church.

In 1367 the Gothic fountain was built bearing an image of St. Justo along with a pair of falcons and the kings’ coat of arms. The water of the fountain comes straight from a spring in the Collserola hills, a discovery made by Joan Fiveller. The entrance to the church is grand and there is a courtyard present at the left side.

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Montjuïc Museums Tour

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Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 km

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