17 Mai Arc la Rambla: the origin of the hotel’s name
The arc de la Rambla is, in addition to the name of our hotel, the way the locals know the arch that marks the beginning of the Arc del Teatre street. This little street, which joins La Rambla and Av. de les Drassanes (at the height of the EOI), evokes scenes from novels and a certain nostalgia. We tell you about it.
The cemetery of forgotten books “El cementerio de los libros olvidados”
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It’s the name of Carlos Ruíz Zafón’s four-book saga that begins with La sombra del viento (2001), continues with El juego del ángel (2008), El prisionero del cielo (2011) and ends with El laberinto de los espíritus (2016).
In the first of the books of this tetralogy, Daniel Sempere, hand in hand with his father, discovers in this place the book “The shadow of the wind” that from the beginning will arouse his curiosity and that of the reader.
Well, the author placed, in fiction, this cemetery of forgotten books in Arc del Teatre street.
A very happy past
In addition to the Teatro Principal (the oldest theatre in Barcelona, 1597-2006), on Carrer Arc del Teatre you’ll find the Kentucky Bar. This historic bar, which dates back to the 1940s, owes its name to american sailors who populated Barcelona’s nightlife during the 60s and 70s. Today it remains faithful to its original appearance and with its timeless style continues to be a key part of our city’s nightlife.
But apart from this place, a living testimony to the history of nightlife, there were other places of interest in the past.
The Villa Rosa tablao
In the same Arc del Teatre street, in front of Madame Petit’s (1889-1956) brothel, there was also the Villa Rosa tablao (1916-1996). This tablao witnessed the talent of a very young Carmen Amaya.
The Borrull family opened this place with its arabesque decoration and bullfighting motifs, which became part of the history of flamenco in Barcelona. In the early afternoon, the public was made up of the modest classes who were fond of flamenco and gypsies from Hostafrancs. From about 1 a.m. onwards, however, the atmosphere changed radically, and members of the wealthier classes and the Catalan bourgeoisie flocked there. Santiago Rusiñol himself was among the audience at the Villa Rosa. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
This late-night crowd was attracted by the art of flamenco, but also by a certain sordidness. At the Villa Rosa, from about two o’clock in the morning onwards, one could witness “agreed” fights. These always started in more or less the same way: one of the girls in the bar would flirt with someone in the audience and at a certain point the jealous boyfriend would come along. The matter was almost always resolved at knifepoint.
Arc La Rambla – We make your visit to Barcelona more entertaining
We hope we have aroused your curiosity with some of the stories of the street that gives our hotel its name.
From the Arc La Rambla blog we will try to continue illustrating and enriching your visit to Barcelona with curiosities or parts of history not so well known. Follow us to stay informed and also benefit from the special discount code ARCBLOG that we offer to our readers.