Going Gothic

A feast for all the senses
Santa Anna Church

The best way to see most cities is on foot, especially cities with atmospheric old quarters like Barcelona. Today we explored the Barri Gòtic, or Gothic Quarter, a delightful maze of narrow medieval lanes filled with trendy bars, shops and restaurants, and dotted with significant historical buildings, monuments and fountains.

We chose to follow Rick Steves audio-guide (you can download it free here), to give us a framework, and to have someone point out the things we might have missed on our own. We’re not fans of group tours, so a self-paced audio-guide is perfect for us. (Note this is not a sponsored post – just a personal recommendation. Though if you’re reading this Rick, happy to talk terms!)

Here’s a map of our walk (image ©Rick Steves Europe Inc) – click for a larger version.

Barri Gòtic dates back to the Roman city of Barcino, and it was surrounded by medieval city walls until the 1850s. Much of the Gothic Qaurter is not from the middle ages as such, but was extensively restored and renovated in neo-gothic style in the late 19th & early 20th centuries, aimed at attracting visitors for the 1929 International Exhibition.  We saw so much, and took so many photos, it will take a few blog posts to cover all the highlights – stay tuned over the coming few days. But really, a lot of the fun lies in just wandering the streets and alleyways, and the charming,  quirky, & historic scenes that reveal themselves.

Just for fun, here’s a short snippet of a busker we saw, singing opera, naturally.

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