5 Hidden treasures in the Born
Trendy, bohemian, full of history and vibrant are just a few of the many adjectives that one can use to describe Barcelona’s grooviest neighbourhood: the Born. Famous among tourists and locals alike, this singular district is fast becoming one of the most multicultural spots in the city. Filled with charismatic shops, alternative bars, fantastic restaurants and small businesses, taking a walk around the area is like a breath of fresh air for the senses. Often compared to the emblematic SoHo in New York, the Born is emerging as one of the most popular areas of Barcelona.
Originally considered part of a bigger district called La Ribera, the streets that once formed the Born have grown today, absorbing the old district. This fact alone and the current size of the neighborhood are a sign of the ever changing history that has shaped the area. Considered the nerve center of Barcelona during the 18th century, the borough has experienced periods of deprivation but, like a phoenix, it is now rising from the ashes.
Full of startling places, exploring the neighbourhood and discovering its treasures and magic will take tourists through secret routes. Strolling through secluded streets and imposing squares, locals and visitors will fall in love with its beauty.
Still not sure whether the Born is the most amazing neighbourhood in Barcelona? Keep on reading; the following is a list of 5 places that will definitely convince you of its splendour:
The Basilica of Santa María del Mar
Built in the 14th century, Santa María del Mar’s Basilica is a unique illustration of the Catalonian Gothic style and is often referred to as “the cathedral of the locals”, in recognition of those who funded the project, making it possible to build this monumental Basilica. Inspired by this story, Ildefonso Falcones described it in his renowned book “La Catedral del Mar”, thus conferring an aura of mystery and symbolism to the structure.
The Palace of Catalonian Music or El Palacio de la música Catalana
This amazing architectural construction, designed by Doménech i Montaner, is another example of the modernist art movement in Barcelona. Used regularly for music events and concerts, visitors can also enjoy a guided tour through the building and its colossal chambers.
Santa Caterina Market
Opened in 1845, this market was created to provide residents with fresh products. A perfect blend of tradition and trends, Santa Caterina was refurbished in the late nineties. It was during this refurbishment that its characteristic multicolored roof was put in place. Its vibrant atmosphere and the constant coming and going of people and fresh food provide a good example of the Born’s spirit.
The Palaces of Montcada Street
Wandering along Montcada Street, considered the upper-class district in medieval Barcelona, is like time-travelling. Beautifully preserved, its splendour is evident thanks to the restoration work carried out on façades and palaces. Particularly grand are Dalmases Palace, and the one-time residence of Marquis Llió and his family. Another must-see attraction in the neighbourhood is Aguilar Palace, current home of the Picasso Museum. Nearby, visitors can also contemplate Cervello’s Palace, famous for its astonishing Gothic façade.
Fossar de les Morenes
Erected upon the remains of the fallen during the siege of Barcelona in the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714, this square is full of symbolism. The war was the starting point start of a dark period for the Born, completely forgotten today.