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Historical Curiosities in Barcelona

Written by Laura

It’s no coincidence that Barcelona is one of the most highly-visited cities in southern Europe. The Ciudad Condal is beautiful, cosmopolitan and full of endless possibilities to enjoy. It’s also situated along the shores of the Mediterranean, which guarantees a good time all year round. Lovers of culture, art and history will all fall in love with Barcelona, along with those looking to enjoy the beach, sunshine and different leisure options. The Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, the Cathedral, the Picasso Museum and Las Ramblas are all obligatory sights in the city, but there is so much more to Barcelona than just these touristy spots. Today in this article from ShBarcelona, we want to tell you about different points of interest in the Ciudad Condal to help you get to know the city beyond just its most popular and touristic areas.

Related article: Curiosities of the Barcelona Metro

Barcelona’s hidden points of history

Photo by Joanbrebo via VisualHunt

Walking through the Gothic neighborhood and immersing yourself in the city’s history is a highly recommended activity; the thin, winding streets breath with history and are full of interesting details, such as the Plaça de Sant Felip Neri. On the walls that surround the plaza you can see the scars from the city’s darker times, with holes in the walls from Franco-era bullets and shrapnel. As homage to the people who lost their lives in the plaza, these markings have been left despite the restorations made in the area. If you’ve visited the city center, you’re sure to know calle Portal de l’Àngel, one of the most important commercial streets in the city. Originally, this was one of the main entrances to the city, with the angel atop the entryway welcoming newcomers. Now this angel is on the facades of some of the first buildings on the street. The next time you stroll through, be sure to look for the statue and see if you can find it.

Related article: 5 things of Barcelona you probably didn’t know

Photo via VisualHunt

We all know Las Ramblas, one of the most highly-visited areas in the city. However, did you know that at the portals of the numbers 22 and 24 on this street, there used to be holes in the ground? These holes were nothing less than the markings left in the marble by the constant foot stomping of the prostitutes from the ‘50s while waiting to go upstairs with a new client. Unfortunately, these markings are no longer there due to renovations of the area, but the good news is you can still see them at the bar Amaya, right on the side of the street. During the Spanish civil war, bomb shelter-style bunkers were built for citizens to use as a means of escape. You can still visit one of these shelters; shelter 307, located in the Poble Sec neighborhood and built with the help of neighbors in the area. This shelter has three entrances, 400 meters of tunnels and different rooms including an infirmary, bathroom and play area for children. It is one of the best examples of bomb shelters from the time period, and a must-see for history lovers.

*Main photo by Harald Felgner via VisualHunt

Do you know other curious pieces of history in Barcelona?

About the author


American journalist living temporarily in Spain. Her passions include news and feature writing, Spanish language and culture and the outdoors.

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