Tours through the Gothic quarter of Barcelona

Barcelona Cathedral - Hotel Arc La Rambla

Tours through the Gothic quarter of Barcelona

The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona is one of the most visited and oldest parts of Barcelona. It is one of the four districts that form the Ciutat Vella and is delimited by La Rambla, Via Laietana, Passeig de Colom and Plaça Catalunya. All this makes it an interesting place to visit and it is possible to explore on foot from Hotel Arc La Rambla.

Even though it is not a very large area, the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona has monuments, hidden corners and squares that are worth visiting with ease.  We recommend the following tours:

From Portaferrissa to Plaça del Rei:

Gothic Quarter of Barcelona - Hotel Arc La Rambla

Portaferrissa was one of the eight gates into the fortified city. Today the fountain of the same name is preserved with a mosaic representing the celebration of the Festes de la Mercè (anual festival). The name comes from the bars that decorated the portal in the 13th century.

Following Portaferrissa Street and El Boters Street you will reach the square where one of the most emblematic monuments of Barcelona is located: La Seu or Barcelona Cathedral. 

Barcelona Cathedral

The temple’s origin dates back to the 13th and 15th centuries, periods of which the structure is still preserved, but the finishing of the temple, as we know it today, took place in the 19th century with the construction of the neo-Gothic façade. The central courtyard is home to 13 geese, 200 gargoyles and the chapel of Santa Eulàlia, one of the patron saints of Barcelona.

The square in front, called Plaça Nova, is a place where you can see street artists and / or different markets throughout the year.

Casa de L’Ardiaca

Next to the cathedral you will find the Casa de l’Ardiaca, a 12th century noble building rebuilt in the 15th century. This building was the residence of the Order of the Arcedians (hence the origin of its name). In its inner courtyard there is a fountain in where is celebrated a curious Catalan tradition called l’ou com balla (“the dancing egg”). You can access the upper part and from there enjoy a better view of the cathedral’s gargoyles.

Bisbe Street

It is a very busy and picturesque street with a bridge arch with a balcony made in 1928 that is actually an imitation of the Gothic style.

This road leads to Plaça Sant Jaume, where the headquarters of the Generalitat and Barcelona City Council are located, a building that can be visited on Sunday mornings.

Plaça del Rei/ Barcelona History Museum

We end this tour in Plaça del Rei, an emblematic spot that reflects all the power of the medieval Barcelona. Here is the Palau Reial Major, which was the residence of the Catalan counts from the 13th to the 15th century.  Next to this square is the Barcelona Museum of History, where you can see the archaeological remains of Roman Barcelona. Don’t forget to visit the chapel of Santa Àgata or the Palau de Lloctinent.

Tour through the Jewish district of Barcelona (el Call)

The Call district is the area where the Jews of Barcelona used to live during the Middle Ages. The current streets that delimit this Jewish quarter are Sant Domènec, Sant Sever, Banys Nous and Call Street. The architectural structure forms a square with narrow streets, inscriptions and facades that preserve the sephardic seal, (name of the Jewish community in Spain).

Its important centres at present are the Main Synagogue of Barcelona, a place of worship in force but which can be visited, and the Call Interpretation Centre.

Finally, you can rest in one of the very popular terraces in Plaça del Pi, where you can also find the cathedral of Santa María del Pi, an architectural jewel of the 14th century. On the first and third weekends of the month there is a market with artisan food stalls.

In short, Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is a place with pleasant surprises in every corner, and Hotel Arc la Rambla is just a few metres away!