Plaça de Catalunya, Barcelona
The busy Plaça de Catalunya forms the northwestern end of the inner-city Ramblas and also of the core of the old town. A number of large banks are situated around this wide and spacious square; the northwest side is dominated by the Banco Espanol de Crédito building, while on the east side stands the massive Telefónica (Telephone Exchange) edifice.Below the level of the square, and with entrances from several sides, lies the city's principal Metro junction; in addition, the trains covering the city routes (e.g. the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat to Tibidabo, Pedralbes and Sant Cugat del Vallés; see entries) run from here. Plaça de Catalunya is also the starting point for the tourist bus "Bus 100".
Placa de Catalunya Map
Transit: Metro: Catalunya.
Palace of Music
On the northwestern edge of the old town, set back a little from the northern side of the Via Laietana, stands the Palau de la Música Catalana; opened in 1908, it is one of the architect Lluis Domènech i Montaner's most unconventional modernistic designs. Although some extensions have since been added the building still retains its original appearance. The interior, with some 1700 seats, is open to the public only when concerts are held.This large concert hall displays the full glory of the Catalan Art Nouveau style, with the flowing stucco work and beamed ceilings deserving special mention. It possesses its own chamber orchestra, and performances range from classical to contemporary and experimental music, jazz and pop.
Address: c/ de Sant Francesc de Paula, 2, E-08003 Barcelona, Spain
Opening hours: 10am-3:30pm
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €8.00, Students €7.00, Group discounts €7.00
Useful tips: Guided tours by appointment in Catalan, Spanish, English, French and Italian.
Guides: Guided tour included with admission.
Transit: Metro: Urquinaona.
Typical Visit: 50 minutes
On the northern side of the square stands the large department store known as "El Corte Inglés", well-known for its large selection of regional goods and which is certainly worth a visit. It has an interpreter service linked to the internal telephone system, to assist foreign customers in making their purchases. On the ninth floor is a large self-service restaurant with a terrace through the windows of which there is a fine view over the center of the city; a pause here is recommended as a pleasant break from touring Barcelona.
As early as the end of the 13th C. the Dominican monks in Barcelona provided educational facilities in the form of a "Studium Generale", and in 1401 institutions were established for the study of medicine and the fine arts, theology, law and philosophy being added a little later. However, following the annulment by Philip V of the special privileges granted to Catalonia, the academy was closed down in 1717. It was 1837 before teaching returned to Barcelona. At present the University of Barcelona has some 58,000 registered students.
Address: Melcior de Palau street 140, E-08014 Barcelona, Spain
From the southern corner of the Plaça de Catalunya the busy shopping street of Carrer del Pelai continues westward to the Plaça de la Universitaria. Here stand the buildings of the Old University, constructed between 1863 and 1873 in a pseudo-Romanesque style. Inside can be seen two beautiful air-wells and parts of the university library.
Convent of Sant Pere de les Puelles
Dating from 945 this convent was reconstructed in the 13th century. The major point of interest of the restored façade is the 15th Century Gothic doorway. The dome is from the 12th century and the Corinthian capitals are from the 10th century.
The exhibition of the Erotic Museum traces erotic art and culture throughout history. A contemporary art exhibition is housed on the upper floor.
Address: Rambla, 96, E-08002 Barcelona, Spain
Opening hours: Jun 1 to Sep 30: 10am-12am
Oct 1 to May 31: 11am-9pm
Oct 1 to May 31: 11am-9pm
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €7.00, Concession or reduced rate €6.00
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Facilities: Gift shop