Chinese Quarter, Barcelona Barri Xino
To the southwest of the Barri Gòtic extends a continuation of the old part of the city - the Barri Xino. With its maze of narrow streets and alleyways this part of the city is to a large extent in urgent need of redevelopment and is a center for prostitution, drug trafficking and petty crime and, after dark at least, should be avoided.
Holy Cross Hospital
In the middle of the Barri Xino, behind the market hall, is the large complex of buildings, grouped around a cloistered courtyard, of the old Hospital de la Santa Creu. It was founded in 1401 and not completed until the 17th C., which explains the varying architectural styles of the individual buildings.From the Carrer del Hospital the building is entered by a 16th C. pair of doors, on the right-hand side of which stands the chapel. In the middle of the cloister there is a Baroque cross with a curved shaft, behind which is a large arch with a beautiful staircase. In the opposite building is housed a branch of the university library, while in the wings adjoining the Carrer del Carme the Biblioteca de Catalunya is located.About the turn of the century it became evident that the rooms of the Antic Hospital no longer answered its needs. The architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner was therefore commissioned to build a new up-to-date building in the Eixample district, the Hospital de la Santa Creu i de Sant Pau.
Biblioteca de Catalunya
The Biblioteca de Catalunya is housed in one part of the former Hospital de la Santa Creu. The library, which was founded in 1914, today contains around a million volumes as well as a special section on the works of Miguel Cervantes Saavedra, the author of "Don Quixote". Proceeding from the Carrer del Carme, the visitor turns right and comes to a gateway. The large colourful picture tiles, depicting scenes from the life of St Paul, are worthy of note. There are also brightly colored tiled decorations in the inner courtyard (with its two-story arcades and a statue of St Paul from the 17th C.) and on the staircase. The reading room is only open to registered users.This group of buildings also houses the Biblioteca Infantil Santa Creu (children's library) and the Biblioteca Popular Sant Pau (public library) as well as part of the University Library.
Address: Carrer de l'Hospital 56, E-08001 Barcelona, Spain
Opening hours: 9am-8pm; Sat: 9am-2pm; Closed: Sun
Always closed on: Our Lady of Mercy Celebrations - Spain (Sep 24), Catalunya Day - Spain (Sep 11)
Useful tips: The reading room is only open to registered users.
Transit: Metro: Liceu.
Directly beyond the road leading up to Montjuïc in Barcelona is the Teatre Grec situated in an abandoned quarry on the slope of the mountain. It was designed for the 1929 World Exhibition, using Epidauros as a model - albeit on a much smaller scale. Concentrically arranged rows of seats surround the deep stage, which even today is used for perfomances (Greek classics, etc.). The theater is surrounded by the Baroque-influenced Jardí Amargs.
Mercat de Sant Antoni
The Mercat de Sant Antoni at the southwestern edge of the Barri Xino is one of the largest market halls in Barcelona still in active use. The steel-skeleton building (1872-82) by Antoni Rovira i Trias occupies the area of a complete block of streets and the market offers an extremely large choice of fruit, vegetables, fish and seafood. Around the outside of the building are stalls selling textiles, books, records, coins, stamps, etc.