Barcelona is full of interesting places to visit: museums, parks, shopping areas, charming streets. In all ten of the city’s districts, there are many tourist attractions to be found; as well as many cultural activities, such as local festivals. But it is in its oldest district, Ciutat Vella, where we find the highest concentration of sights; and in particular, the Gothic quarter.
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What to see in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona
The Gothic quarter is the historic center of Barcelona. It is steeped in history from both Roman and Medieval times; the remains of which can still be seen today. The whole area was at one time surrounded by a wall, and within its boundaries, many majestic buildings were erected.
The area of Sant Jaume Square is the political center of the city. It has been so for more than 2000 years, as the Romans chose the site as one of their main settlements in the province. Nowadays, the plaza is dominated by both the Town Hall and the Palace of the Generalitat buildings. Close by there are many points of interest, such as Plaça del Rei, the Episcopal Palace, the Cathedral and Plaça de Sant Felip Neri.
Traces of the Roman walls can be seen in areas such as Plaça del Pi, where there is a small artisan craft market; and Plaça de la Vila de Madrid, where you have the chance to see an ancient Roman necropolis, which has been preserved underground.
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Monuments of Gothic Quarter
Another interesting fact about this neighbourhood, one that perhaps many people do not know, is the variety of settlers which have called the place home throughout the years. The area also has a great deal of Jewish history and in it stands what is thought to be one of the oldest Synagogues in Europe.
Nearby is the Church of Santa Maria del Mar, which was built with stones from the quarries of Montjuïc way back in the 14th century.
Other sights worth visiting are the Basilica de la Mercé, the church of Sants Just, the city’s history museum, and the always busy Plaça Reial. But the most interesting thing of all are the narrow and winding streets and alleyways themselves, where it is a pleasure to get lost.
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