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The Gothic Quarter is one of the oldest and most interesting parts of Barcelona. The square of Sant Jaume was Forum at the time of Romans, and there are many remains of old fortifications still to be seen, for instance the portal of "Plaça Nova". At this square there are as well the Palacio de la Generalitat and Palacio del Ayuntamiento (townhall).|
In Calle Paradis, on top of the mountain Táber, you will find an old millstone. Here were living Iberian tribes long before the time of Roman empire.
At Plaza del Rei there are the Palacio Real Mayor, Iglesia de Santa Agata and Palacio del Archivo de la Corona de Aragón, close to it the Gothic cathedral and the medieval palaces of Casa dels Canonges, Pia Almoina and Ardiaca.
Las RamblasThis boulevard of a length of about 2 kilometers, between Plaza de Catalunya and the port, shows what is perhaps the quintessence of Barcelona. You will find here people of any age and social class, shoe shine boys, small stands selling flowers and vegetables, street-theaters, big business-galleries, cafeterias, terraces as well as some of the great theaters of the city. Specially interesting buildings are: the Academia de Sciencias (Academy of Science), with its giant watch from 1868, the gothic-baroque church de Betlem, and the Palacio de Moya with its beautiful halls and extraordinary wall-paintings. It is used frequently for expositions.
The Mercado de La Boquería is the most important and most visited market of Barcelona, while "Pla de la Boqueria" was the old center of town. In Palacio de la Virreina, today seat of the culture department of the regional government, frequently you can see expositions of art. Impressive is Casa Bruno Cuadros with its dragon at the front. You arrive to Plaça Reial, a beautiful square with arcades, palms, fountains and luxurious shops. Here lived in former times the bourgeoisie, but today it is the heart of an artists district and offers charming ambience with its pubs and typical bars. Sundays you may visit here a market for coins and stamps.
The port, located at the end of Las Ramblas, is dominated by the tower of Colón, from the top of which you have a fantastic view over Barcelona and the great boulevard Paseo de Colón.
The modern center of Barcelona, built between 1870 and 1936, was planned by architect Cerdá, who wanted to create an luxurious district for the bourgeoisie and enlarged the city to five times its original size. All the streets here cross rectangularily, an unusual thing in European town planning. The best known monuments in El Ensanche are the works of Antoní Gaudí, as the great cathedral Sagrada Familia, Park Güell and Palacio Güell, together with Casa de los Punxes and Casa Amatler de Puig i Cadalfach, all of them masterworks of modernistic style. The central square is Plaça de Catalunya of dimensions comparable to those of the Vatican in Rome. Regularly this square is modified, which stands symbolic for Barcelona's mentality of constant innovation and change. Then there are the Paseig de Gràcia, a wide boulevard with curious benches and banana plants, and La Diagonal, another boulevard that crosses all this district.
The mountain of Montjuic was the scenery of the World Exposition of 1929, for which was built the Pueblo Español. The buildings there represent all the architectonic styles typical for Spain. In 1992 the Olympic Games took place here. On top of the mountain, surrounded by beautiful parks, there is a fortress of 17th century.
You arrive to the top of this mountain by the only tramway that still exists in Barcelona, and find there one of the most famous and spectacular amusement-parks of Europe.
Here took place the World Exposition of 1868. Inside the park there are the Parliament of Catalunya, the statue of the "Lady with the Umbrella", various museums and the zoological garden.
A highly interesting round to 12 works of the great architect, starting at the Diagonal, passing the Passeig de Gràcia, and, after crossing the city, arriving to Parc Güell.
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