Streets, squares & neighbourhoods
La Rambla is exactly 1.2 kilometres long and nearly everyone who visits Barcelona walks along it. La Rambla was laid out in 1766, following the contours of the medieval city walls that had bounded this part of Barcelona since the 13th century. The locals took it to their hearts straightaway. In Barcelona, a city of narrow, winding streets, the Rambla was the only space where everyone could stroll and spend their leisure time. And we mean everyone. Because of its central location, the Rambla became a meeting place for all the social classes.
Barcelona lived through a magical summer it will never forget. When the city hosted the 1992 Olympic Games
, the city became the world"s capital during a fortnight which will be etched forever in people"s memories. The Olympic Ring on Montjuïc
was the nerve centre of the festivities.
The centre of the Roman city, today’s Gothic Quarter, was marked by the point where the two main streets, the Cardo and Decumanus, converged. Today the Carrer del Bisbe and Carrer Llibreteria stand on this site. Nearby, we can still see the remains of the Roman temple of Augustus. In fact, the original centre of Roman and medieval Barcelona
still forms the core of 21st-century Barcelona. Its maze of narrow streets and squares is steeped in the city’s past and present.
The Plaça Sant Jaume has been the city"s political centre almost since its inception. Today the Plaça Sant Jaume is an open space, a "lung" in the middle of the Gothic Quarter
. The square is the site of the most important buildings in the lives of Barcelona and Catalonia: City Hall and the Palau de la Generalitat.
This elegant, majestic boulevard was a showcase for Barcelona"s bourgeoisie at the turn of the 19th century, and links the Plaça Catalunya with the district of Gràcia, hence its name. The presence of Barcelona"s finest modernista buildings makes this avenue a veritable open-air museum.