The Gothic Quarter is the oldest neighbourhood of Barcelona. Within its borders hide some of the city’s architectural delights, as well as peaceful corners and places to enjoy a tasty bite accompanied by a cool glass of beer or fine wine. The neighbourhood, site of the original Roman city, is roughly square in shape and is bordered by the city’s main square Plaça Catalunya, La Rambla, Via Laietana, and Passeig de Colom on the port side. In the centre of the neighbourhood lies Plaça de Sant Jaume, the historical site of celebrations and gatherings which is also host to the buildings of the Catalan government and the city council.
A stone’s throw from the square is the Cathedral, in a mixture of Gothic and Neo-gothic architectural styles, it faces a large square of its own that is the site of antique fairs and concerts of traditional “sardana” music and dancing on public holidays. From a side street – Carrer del Bisbe – the visitor can enter the Cathedral’s 14th century cloisters, ringed by chapels, and whose central pools are home to placid geese. During the Corpus celebrations – on June 23rd – a long-held ritual called L’ou com balla (The dancing egg) involves decorating the fountains found in the cloisters and in the nearby Casa de l’Ardiaca with flowers and making an egg “dance” by balancing it on jets of water.
Address: Pla de la Seu
Metro: Jaume I (L4)
Bus: 17, 19, 40 and 45. Barcelona Tourist Bus, Gothic Quarter stop.
Guided tours: 933 428 260