At this stop you can explore the lively Raval district, contemplate gems of Gothic and Neoclassical architecture and visit two major cultural centres: the Barcelona Centre of Contemporary Culture (CCCB) and the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA).
The gateway to the Raval district
The Raval dates back to the 14th century when it sprung up around convents and fields of crops and was home, during its first urbanisation period, to utilitarian buildings like hospitals, orphanages and leprosariums. A building that has survived from that period is the Old Hospital de la Santa Creu, which was the city of Barcelona’s general hospital from 1401 to 1926 and is now home to the Library of Catalonia. It is a grandiose Gothic building composed of three structures that shares the enclosure with the Royal Academy of Medicine, which is from the 18th century and constitutes one of the most important works of Neoclassical architecture to be found in Barcelona. Inside you can see an 18th-century anatomical theatre and dissection table.
The Raval is now a district that has been fully revamped, largely thanks to the establishment of two key centres in the cultural panorama of post-Olympic Barcelona. The first to be opened, in 1994, was the Barcelona Centre of Contemporary Culture (CCCB), an avant-garde centre whose conversion from the old Casa de la Caritat almshouse won the FAD design award. Just a year later, next to the CCCB but with its main entrance on Plaça dels Àngels, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) was opened. It is an impressive construction in glass and white aluminium designed by Richard Meier that changed the entire layout of the square and quickly became a symbol of the new Raval. Since then, the MACBA has brought together numerous collections of contemporary art that were previously held at other locations throughout the city.
Very close to these centres is a key building from the Rationalist movement, the tuberculosis dispensary, designed by architects from the GATCPAC collective like Josep Lluís Sert.