Wonders of Barcelona: Barri Gòtic
Barri Gòtic or the Gothic quarters is the old town of Barcelona, which is a maze of narrow cobbled streets with history dating back to the Pre-Roman era. Taking a tour around the streets we came across some of the fascinating plazas, ancient roman walls and gothic buildings that had great historical significance.
The Cathedral of Barcelona (La Seu) dedicated to the former patron saint of Barcelona, Saint Eulalia is a majestic structure located in the centre of Gothic Quarter and is an excellent example of the ancient Catalan architecture. The 11th century cathedral has 29 beautifully designed chapels inside and a museum chapter house where the monstrance along with the 15th century Chair of King Martin I is placed for display. The major highlight of the cathedral is the Crypt of Saint Eulalia, which is located beneath the main altar in a magnificent 14th century alabaster sarcophagus.
A lift inside the cathedral takes you to the roof where you can see the spectacular view of gothic quarters and also have a closer look at the church bell towers. Another part of the cathedral not to be missed is the church cloister, which is called as the “loveliest oasis in Barcelona”. The cloister is a beautiful courtyard with a fountain with an image of St. George on top and the thirteen geese in the memory of St. Eulalia. The entry to the cathedral is 5 Euro per person and do remember sleeveless tops and short outfits are prohibited inside the church.
We then walked around the cathedral exploring more of the gothic part of the town. The Bisbe Street close to the cathedral is a great spot to enjoy the Catalan street music performers. Also do not miss the Gothic bridge connecting the Generalitat Palace to the Canonges House. Close to this is the Placa del Rei, one of the oldest plazas in the city. Originally a palace courtyard, the plaza was later used as a fodder and straw market and currently is part of the Barcelona History Museum.
The streets of Barri Gòtic has certain old world appeal that even if you wander for hours in these narrow alleyways you will still find yourselves charmed with some new element. Do remember to visit this part of the town after sunset to catch a glimpse of the vibrant nightlife as the locals gather around the many tapas bars and pubs.