It is an essential stop to contemplate the city’s oldest monuments and travel back through history. A stroll through the Gothic Quarter takes you from the Roman city of Barcino to the cosmopolitan, 21st-century city that is today’s Barcelona via the splendour of the Middle Ages and Catalan Gothic art that gave the area its name.
The soul of Barcelona
The Barri Gòtic stop on the Red Route of Barcelona Bus Turístic is located on Via Laietana, which was opened in the 1930s to connect the Eixample district to the sea.
The Gothic Quarter is the historic nucleus of Barcelona, where you can see sections of the Roman wall that surrounded Barcino and columns of a temple dedicated to Augustus that was built more than 2,000 years ago on the summit of Mount Tàber. Very close by are the Jewish Quarter and Plaça de Sant Jaume, which is still home to government bodies.
But as its name indicates, the district is home to important civil and religious Gothic buildings, like the Cathedral and the sumptuous Monumental Complex in Plaça del Rei formed by the Count of Barcelona’s throne room, a chapel, a lookout point and a Gothic palace that was moved stone by stone from Via Laietana to Barcelona City History Museum.
The architectural complex that was the Count’s residence is also home to the Frederic Marès Museum, where you can access the old orchard garden of Barcelona’s ruler. Other Gothic buildings include the Església de Santa Maria del Pi (Church of Saint Mary of the Pine), which forms, with the two squares that surround it, one of the district’s most charming spots, and the Basílica dels Sants Just i Pastor (Basilica of Saints Justus and Pastor), which was built over a Romanesque church and is considered to be the city’s oldest.
The 19th century is also represented by the porticoed Plaça Reial, which was built on land liberated by the Spanish confiscation in 1835 and decorated with streetlights designed by Gaudí, and Carrer de Ferran which was built to connect La Rambla to Ciutadella Park and was one of the main commercial streets of that period.