The La Ribera quarter and the maritime face of Barcelona


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La Ribera

This neighbourhood is probably one of the most beloved and charming in the old town. In the Middle Ages it was the centre the guilds, trade and navigation of Barcelona. To step into La Ribera is to know the Barcelona of design, entertainment and fashion

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Santa Maria del Mar Basilica The itinerary begins on Argenteria Street, which links Laietana Street to the Santa Maria del Mar basilica. This Gothic church, known as the Ribera Cathedral, is one of the finest examples of architecture in this style. Built entirely in the fourteenth century, the harmony of its proportions and the serenity of the whole are admirable. Fossar de les Moreres Square Opposite the side facade of Santa Maria del Mar basilica, towards the Born Boulevard, we find a small square of great historical significance: the Fossar de les Moreres Square. In ancient times there was a cemetery adjoining to the church, and legend says that this is where the defenders of Barcelona were buried in September 1714, when the city fell to the troops of Philip V. The Born Market The Born Market is a large isolated building made of iron and glass, which housed the central fruit and vegetable market until 1971. Built in 1876, it is one of the best examples of iron architecture in the city. Ciutadella Park It is one of the green lungs of the city. The park was built in 1888 for the Universal Exposition, on the site of the demolished citadel of Philip V. Today the remnants of the exhibition can be seen in such buildings as the Castell dels Tres Dragons, designed by Domenech i Montaner as a restaurant, in the waterfall and the lake or the beautiful Greenhouse and Conservatory. On the other side of the park is the Barcelona Zoo, dating from 1892. Near the Catalan Parliament a copy of the beautiful sculpture by Josep Llimona, "Grief," can be seen, the most eminent of all the features of the park, and the statue of the Lady with the Umbrella. The Lady with the Umbrella Statue The Lady with the Umbrella is a symbol of the Ciutadella Park and the Barcelona Zoo. For many it is also a childhood memory of the most beautiful of the ladies of the city of Barcelona. Barcelona Zoo The Barcelona Zoo is home to more than seven thousand four hundred animals of different species. The visit becomes a living spectacle through habitats from around the world, discovering the wildlife: primates, cats, tropical birds, dolphins... The zoo facilities are ideal for families to enjoy an unforgettable day. Catalan Parliament The old arsenal of the demolished military Citadel became the Catalan Parliament in 1932, after being remodelled as a museum. The parliamentary functions were returned in 1980. It was designed by Flemish engineer Prosper de Verboom, between 1716 and 1748, and the exterior has a central body and ends developed through a series of arches that form a nice porch. Xocolata Museum On nearby Comerc Street, this curious museum is a must for irrepressible gourmands and those interested in the world of cocoa. Picasso Museum The Picasso Museum, located on Montcada Street, is one of the gems of the city. There are five major monographic museums dedicated to this painter in the world, but this was the first and the only one created at the express will of the artist. It contains the most important collection of Picasso's early works, as well as other periods, such as the Las Meninas series, inspired by Velázquez's masterpiece. Textile Museum and Barbier-Mueller Museum Also on Moncada Street, located in the palace of the Marquis of Llio, a beautiful 16th century building.  

Maritime Facade

Since the 1992 Olympic Games, the appearance of this area has changed radically. The beaches have been restored and the urban coast has emerged as a leisure and amusement area as well as an attractive residential area.

Reials Drassanes Boatyards The route begins at the Reials Drassanes Boatyards on the Portal de la Pau beach where big ships were built for maritime commerce in the Middle Ages. These medieval boatyards, a powerful civil gothic display, house the Maritime Museum. Golondrinas To get a closer view of the ocean, there is nothing better than a tour in the popular “Golondrinas,” boats that offer a refreshing route through the port’s waters. It is one of the oldest tourist attractions and two types of routes are offered depending on the traveller’s preference. Maremagnum In Port Vell, this huge leisure centre is where one can find, in addition to several shops and restaurants, the Imax theatre and the aquarium. Aquarium The Aquarium of Barcelona, a visit to which is an incredible journey to the bottom of the sea, has over eleven thousand live organisms from about 450 species. This huge oceanarium is impressive with its transparent tunnel that is over eighty metres long. It is a true voyage to the bottom of the sea. Port Vell At the end of the Joan de Borbó Street, is the sporting port of the port of Barcelona, with 410 moors for recreational boats between 10 and 30 metres. It is worth it to walk along, enjoying the Mediterranean up to the beaches of the Barceloneta. There are several restaurants where one can enjoy Barcelonan gastronomy with a view of the sea. Palace of the Sea This fully restored elegant brick building is full of balconies and is an excellent option for enjoying an excellent meal. Furthermore, one can visit the modern and interactive Museum of Catalonian History with very interesting exhibits. Barceloneta The construction of the first houses began in 1754 and the neighbourhood filled up with fisherman and people involved in the area’s port activity. Since then, this neighbourhood of the sea with wide, straight streets has not lost its charm and character, with that feeling of a town far from the city that has always characterised it. Olympic Port Walking in front of the sea along the Maritime Boardwalk, one arrives to the Olympic Port, the sporting marina that lies at the foot of two skyscrapers – the first is a luxury hotel and the second is an office tower. The practice of nautical sport – the Municipal Sailing School is located here – and the affluence of restaurants and pubs make this enclave into one of the liveliest of the city. Olympic Village The port is also the centre of the Olympic Village, the residential neighbourhood that was built to house sportsmen and sportswomen during the 1992 Games. The tall vertical brick chimney that rises up between the buildings was conserved as a testament to the area’s industrial past. Icaria Avenue Another testament to the past that contrasts with the new areas of the neighbourhood is the timber that covers the large central covered walkway of Icaria Avenue; it reminds onlookers of the old railway tracks that were disassembled for the construction of the neighbourhood.  




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