El Born is an avenue dating from mediaeval times which is today packed with fashionable pavement cafés. This is a very popular area in Barcelona both by day and at night, and extends as far as the old market of El Born and the Gothic church of Santa María del Mar.
El Born is in the La Ribera district, a labyrinth of alleyways which at one time formed the old artisans quarter, and is today home to artists, boutiques, bars and leisure venues. In fact it is one of the most avant-garde parts of Barcelona, and contains a number of highly-recommended places for enjoying dinner or the first drink of the evening. The architecture of its buildings is evidence of its past, and there are various constructions dating from the 14th century. Other highlights include the old market of El Born and the church of Santa María del Mar. The market is an excellent example of what is known as 'iron architecture' and recalls both Barcelona's mediaeval past and the city's resurgence during the second half of the 19th century. The church is a fine Gothic building which served as inspiration for Gaudí when he conceived his Sagrada Familia cathedral.