As part of the Ciutat Vella or Old Town along with Barceloneta, La Raval and La Ribera, the Gothic Quarter is one of the most imposing landmarks in Spain. Potentially eerie to a first time visitor, but brimming with historical value, visiting the Barri Gotic feels like taking a trip back in time to an age when the world was in the midst of a tumultuous change and transition that left its mark on every culture on the continent. So what is there to see here and what are some of the best places you should visit when coming to the Barri Gotic for the first time? Well, about that and more we’re going to talk about in the following paragraphs.
Standing on the highest point in the Barri Gotic, the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia is surrounded by a wonderful maze of narrow medieval lanes. The cathedral itself is very old, having been built during the XIII century, but construction was finished in the medieval era. Adorned with an abundance of vertical buttresses, spires and arched doorways, the grandiose facade is a wonder to look at. Stepping inside the Cathedral, you’ll witness a spacious and bright sanctuary that features an unconventional interior for a cathedral of its kind and that’s because it was erected on the site of a basilica from the Paleo Christian era. Make sure you don’t miss out visiting the museum located in the Sala Capitural since there you can admire paintings by various Spanish painters from the XV and XVI centuries.
If you want to visit the most beautiful square in the old town of Barcelona, then Placa de Rei needs to definitely be on your list. The square is circled by massive buildings that date back to medieval times, while on the Southern side, it opens up to the quarter’s narrow streets. While you’re here, it’s a must that you visit the Casa Clariana Padellas, which is a fine example of medieval urban castles. When excavations for reconstructing the palace were made, significant remains of the old Roman town were uncovered. The discovery was so important for the Spanish people that the city decided the Historical Museum would be housed in the building itself.
Erected in the XIV century, the Chapel of Santa Agata lies on the old Roman town wall and was once the chapel of the Royal Palace. What makes this structure so unique compared to all others in Spain is the fact that its altarpiece was designed by Jaume Huguet, a work of art that art experts today consider to be one of the finest examples of Catalan paintings. While you’re visiting this place, it’s also recommended that you take a look at the windows in the gallery and the choir that portray the different coats of arms of Barcelona’s counts. It’s important to note that even though the chapel isn’t used for religious services anymore, anyone who wants to visit the monument is free to do so.
The smell of history in the Gothic Quarter coupled with the exceptional architectural works of art make it one of the most adored tourist attractions in Barcelona. Whether you’re here for a day or a week, visiting this place is both a startling and incredible experience that will always have a special place in your heart.