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The Gothic Quarter, a journey back in time to discover the secrets of Barcelona

By | 14 May, 2018 | 0 comments

Time travel is one of the biggest challenges we humans have ever pondered, but sometimes it’s easier to achieve than you might think… In Barcelona, it’s possible to head back in time without having to step foot in any of those strange contraptions you’ve seen in films. All you need to do is wander down the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter to wind the clock back and discover more of the many different sides of our great city of Barcelona.

Barrio Gótico de Barcelona

On this unique tour, you’ll see the oldest fountains, homes and shops in the entire city, with columns still standing from Roman temples, signs of the Spanish Civil War in some of the plazas and a whole host of other great attractions for tourists to enjoy. An exciting itinerary that visitors to Barcelona simply can’t afford to miss, which complements the other tourist attractions on offer around the city.

It’s surprising that one of the best-kept secrets in the Gothic Quarter is also one of its more modern additions, the bridge on Calle del Bisbe. Built less than a hundred years ago, it is one of the most photographed spots in all of Barcelona. The mysterious skull-crossed dagger underneath is the subject of plenty of legends and old wives’ tales. Some will tell you that it’s real, while others will profess that if you cross the bridge from behind it, fixing your gaze upon it, one of your wishes will come true. The most dramatic of the myths says that if the dagger was ever to be removed, the city of Barcelona would collapse entirely. But, arguably the most credible idea, is that the bridge’s architect, Joan Rubió, simply placed it there as a symbol of death, the death of his ambitious project to completely regenerate the surroundings of Mount Táber, which was rejected by the city’s leaders.

Once you leave Calle del Bisbe, proceed onto the perpendicular street that leads to another secret of the Gothic Quarter – Paradís. There, you’ll see a medieval courtyard, with four columns from the Roman temple of Augustus. More than 2,000 years of history will whisk you back to the very origins of Barcelona as a city.

Behind the Cathedral, you’ll stumble upon one of the most beautiful squares in the whole neighbourhood, San Felipe Neri, with its Baroque church that shares its name. On the temple’s façade, visitors will see all kinds of grooves and small holes that certainly grab your attention. In fact, these are scars left behind by shrapnel during the bombing raids of the Spanish Civil War.

Picasso also left his mark on the Gothic Quarter. Try to spot the beautiful poster drawn by the artist himself in the Els Quatre Gats café, found in an alley underneath Casa Martí.

And this journey through Barcelona’s most historic district wouldn’t be complete without a visit to CereríaSubirà at number 6 Calle Sant Domènec del Call and the bridge of Santa Anna. Here, you’ll see no less than the oldest shop, home and fountain in all of Barcelona together.

The Gothic Quarter has lots more secrets to uncover as you get lost in its myriad of winding streets, losing all sense of time and feeling privileged to be exploring such a special part of the city.

At HCC Hotels in Barcelona, we can provide detailed information on all the options available so that you don’t miss a thing in this magical neighbourhood, either with walking routes or guided tours, helping you discover all the mystery and seduction of this wonderful part of the world.

Categories: barcelona

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