Published on September 28, 2009
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.
Carrer Moncada 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. Barri Gòtic 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.
CATHEDRAL OF SANTA EULÀLIA
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).
Barcelona allows visitors to walk through the streets of the Ciutat Vella, where we can find the most characteristic buildings of the city’s medieval past.
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