After visiting Parc Guell, my husband and I walked all the way down to the other end of town, to the Barri Gotic. The pictures from "Out and About in Barcelona" show some of the things we saw along the way. The walk was pretty long, but we enjoyed it! Barcelona is one of the prettiest cities I've ever seen. It is an incredible mix of ancient and modern culture and architecture, with parks and monuments scattered throughout the city. The people there are also very helpful to tourists--we had to stop and ask for directions a couple of times (yes...my husband will occasionally ask for directions!). Most people we encountered seemed to have a smattering of English and were happy to help us. Eventually, we found our way to the Barri Gotic, which goes from La Rambla (a major street in downtown) to the Mediterranean Sea.
The Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter) is the center of Barcelona, and is a charming maze of narrow, winding streets and very ancient buildings. This is where the city originated in the first century--it was colonized by the Romans. It's even possible to see some of the remains of the Roman wall that once circled this city, as well as two towers that guarded the gates of the city, and to see part of an aqueduct! You can find these on the Placa Nova. When visiting this area, you feel as if you've stepped back in time; many of the buildings are from medieval times. As you walk the narrow maze of streets, you encounter many small shops and restaurants and tapas bars--all scattered along the streets and in various small plazas that open off the streets. There are also some museums and very old churches in this area.
We wandered around this area for a good 2-3 hours, but we could have easily spent an entire day there! Many of these buildings still have apartments in them...you can see laundry hanging from many balconies and windows! Along with the buildings you also see the resident pigeons! There are so many nooks and crannies on the buildings that the pigeons find easy homes here! As we were walking some of these streets, I noticed that many people, who had laundry hanging outside, had covered their laundry lines with sheets of plastic. I'm bettering they did this in order to keep the pigeons and their droppings off the clean clothes! This just made the area more charming, in my eyes...to see that people are still living (and fighting pigeons) in this place, and have been since Roman times...that was pretty amazing!
There is so much history here...you can almost see and hear those who once walked these streets. The place has the feeling of a vast tapestry, with many fine threads from many cultures woven together to produce the Barri Gotic. One of my favorites things to see there was a portion of the Roman walls on the Placa Nova. I have always wanted to see ancient Roman buildings and ruins, and on this trip I finally had that chance! I not only saw them, but touched them! That was a thrill! I'm hoping one day to see Rome...that will be the ultimate thrill for things Roman. But till then, I was very happy to finally see something of ancient Rome in the Barri Gotic of Barcelona!
I would highly recommend everyone to see the Barri Gotic. Spend time walking the streets and feeling the history here, and then visit the churches and museums--you won't be disappointed!
That's all for today...you all have a great day!
(c) 2008 by czechoffthebeatenpath
All photos property of S. A. Vacik