La Rambla / Las Ramblas, Barcelona
The Rambles (here better known under their Catalan name of "Ramblas"), the principal thoroughfare in the city center, stretches northwestward from the Columbus Memorial near the Port. The 1,180m/1,290yds long section to the Plaça de Catalunya is lined with plane trees; with its wide pedestrian zone flanked by a narrow road on each side it is a favorite place for a stroll, and is one of Barcelona's main attractions. To the right (northeast) lies the Barri Gòtic, to the left (southwest) the Barri Xino. As well as its flower and bird market the Ramblas boasts a considerable number of book and newspaper stands, restaurants and cafes with tables in the open. The pavement artists, street musicians and other impromptu performers all add to its distinctive atmosphere; but be warned against getting involved in any games of chance! It is also unfortunately true to say that pickpockets and tricksters find rich pickings here.
La Rambla (Las Ramblas) Map
Transit: Metro: Catalunya, Drassanes, Liceu.
A beautiful boulevard, the Passeig de Gracia links the old town with the Gracia district. Here, visitors can find several banks and shops as well as residences exuding a modernist architectural style.
In the heart of the old town is the Plaça de Catalunya, a busy square with fountains and trees.
In a narrow street a little to the east of the Plaça de Catalunya stands the Convent of Santa Anna, founded in the 12th C. by the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and dissolved in 1835. The cloister and chapter-house, both of which still remain, were built in the 15th C.; many other parts from the same period were pulled down in the 19th C. Originally Romanesque in style, the church has a cruciform ground plan and rectangular choir. The interior has round arches and was partially altered in the 14th C.; its small Romanesque windows provide little light. The tabernacle is a copy of the 15th/16th C. original, which has long since disappeared.The 14th C. Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament lies to the left of the entrance. In it will be found some modern paintings and a 15th C. burial group.From the church there is access to the cloister and thence to the chapter-house.
Gallery of Coins
The Gabinet Numismàtic de Catalunya (gallery of coins) is housed in the Palau de la Virreina on the Ramblas. As it is at the present time in the process of rearrangement, the collection is at the moment not generally open to the public. The museum's exhibits are derived from various private collections which since 1902 have come into the hands of the city either as gifts, bequests or loans. The collection numbers more than 10,000 items: medals, coins, banknotes and stocks and shares, mainly from Catalonia and going back to the fifth C. B.C. Of particular significance are the mintings from the Greek colony Emporion (Empúries) and Iberic, West Gothic and Roman coins, as well as coins from Latin America.
Address: La Rambla, 99, E-08002 Barcelona, Spain
Opening hours: 9am-2pm; Closed: Sun, Sat
Always closed on: Our Lady of Mercy Celebrations - Spain (Sep 24), Catalunya Day - Spain (Sep 11)
Entrance fee: FREE
Useful tips: Tours by arrangement during operating hours.
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Transit: Metro: Liceu.
The Casa Calvet (1898-1900), not far north of the Plaça de Catalunya, was also designed by Antoni Gaudí. Compared to his other work it is spartan in the meager decoration of the facade. For this building Gaudí was awarded the architectural prize of the City of Barcelona. The furnishings, some of which are also by Gaudi, can be seen in the Gaudià Museum; the interior of the Casa Calvet is not open to the public, as the building is privately owned.
L'Auditori, opened in 1999, as a new cultural music complex in Barcelona and one of the most frequented musical theatres in the country. The Symphonic Hall can accommodate large symphony orchestras and choirs. There is also a Chamber Music Hall and Multi-Purpose Hall.
Rambla de Catalunya
The northwestern extension of the Ramblas forms the far side of the square known as the Rambla de Catalunya, which stretches from the Eixample to the Avinguda de la Diagonal. It has none of the flair and atmosphere of the old Ramblas, being on a par with all the other purely functional routes through the new part of the city.
Church of the Conception
One would never expect to find a Gothic church here in this extension of the city which was laid out after 1860 and in fact the Eglesia de la Concepció was built in 1293 in the Barri Gòtic. Between 1871 and 1888 it was dismantled stone by stone and transported to its present-day location. The single-aisled interior is flanked by chapels; the attractive cloister dates from the 14th C.
Egyptian Museum of Barcelona and Foundation of Archeology
The museum houses over 400 pieces which represent the different periods of Egyptian civilization. The library contains over 3,000 books on Egyptology, archeology, and ancient art. The Foundation of Archeology contributes to the dissemination of ancient culture through archeological missions, a restoration laboratory, and through the Association of the Foundation.
Address: Rbla. de Catalunya, 57, E-08007 Barcelona, Spain
Opening hours: 10am-8pm; Sun: 10am-2pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26)
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €6.00, Students €5.00
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Facilities: Gift shop
Transit: Metro: Lines 3 and 4, Passeig de Gracia, and line 5, Line 5 Diagonal
Opposite the side facade of Eglesia de Betlem in Barcelona and on the other side of the Rambla stands the Palau Moja, a palace which has reverted to its Baroque origins.
Rambla dels Estudis (Rambla Canaletes)
At the junction with the Carrer del Carme is the beginning of the Rambla dels Estudis, where the bird and fish market is held in the mornings. Together with the Rambla Canaletes it forms the link with the Plaça de Catalunya.
Eglesia de Betlem
At the crossing of the Rambla dels Estudis with the Carrer del Carme in Barcelona is to be seen the Baroque facade of the Eglesia de Betlem, built between 1681 and 1732, formerly a Jesuit church. It is characterized by its heavily embossed stonework. In the entrance portal are portrayed Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the order, Francesco Borgia, the third general of the Jesuit order, as well as the birth of Christ. The rich Baroque furnishings and decorations inside the church were completely destroyed by fire in 1938; their restoration in unadorned Neo-Classical forms is artistically of little significance.
The elaborate Tivoli Theater is now used as a cinema.
The Vilardell Pharmacy is an interesting example of modernist architecture.