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Places to Visit

You can visit many beautiful and interesting places in Barcelona. This chapter tells you about some of them. You can find these places on any map. On the last page of this travel guide you can find two maps for printing out.

The Gothic Quarter
Our visit is going to begin at the Cathedral in the Barri Gòtic. The inside of the Cathedral is very beautiful. Outside the Cathedral you can walk round the Cloister
, which is a covered walkway. It is quiet and peaceful. Leave Cathedral Square and walk under Pont del Sospirs (Bridge of Sighs) to Plaça de Sant Jaume. You then come to Palau de la Generalitat. Inside there is the attractive Pati dels Tarongers (Orange Tree Courtyard).
The Old Town Hall is opposite. Don't forget to look at the wall paintings by Sert.

Also, go and see the Saló de Cent. A narrow street full of old shops and cafés leads to Plaça del Rei. Here, in Sa del Tinell, Christopher Columbus offered the new lands of America to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1493. Under Plaça del Rei you can see parts of the ancient Roman city. The church of Santa Maria del Mar (Our Lady of the Sea) is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture. It was built in 1329. It is not far from the Barri Gòtic.

Les Rambles
Les Rambles is a lively and colourful area. You can listen to the street musicians
, smell the flowers on the flower stalls and walk past shops selling birds, newspapers and books. There is excitement everywhere. Local people meet at the Font de Canaletes. They stand and talk about sport and politics. Other people like the bars along the new Moll de la Fusta, by the sea.

There are many interesting buildings along Les Rambles. You can visit Les Drassanes (Old Shipyards)
, the Wax Museum or El Liceu (Opera House). Then you can go shopping in La Boqueria, a popular big market. Sit under the palm trees in the Plaça Reial.

Have a cool drink and a snack. Walk along Carrer Petritxol and talk to painters in Plaça de Pí on Sundays. At one end of Les Rambles is the Plaça del Portal de la Pau. Here you will see the statue of Columbus on a high column. At the other end of Les Rambles is Plaça de Catalunya. You are now leaving the old part of the city and going into the new.

The Modern City
Let's begin our visit to the modern city. We walk across the Plaça de Catalunya into the Eixample. In 1854, the medieval walls of the city were pulled down. New buildings were built outside the old walls. Ildefons Cerda was a famous architect and engineer. He planned the new buildings in a very large rectangle. 

The Eixample is an open air museum of Modernist art which is a mixture of architecture, painting and sculpture. In the Eixample there are many interesting buildings. Some were designed by the world-famous architect, Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926). Two houses by Gaudí are really amazing: Casa Milà, known as La Pedrera, and Casa Batlló.

Gaudí designed Parc Güell. The park is on a hillside to the north of the city. Here you will see strange sculptures of monsters and dragons.

He also designed the Sagrada Familia. This very famous building is popular with tourists. They come to see the unusual towers and carvings.

There are more than one thousand modernist buildings in the Eixample.
Go and see El Palau de la Música. This was designed by the architect Domènech i Montaner. Also, there is the Casa de les Punxes designed by the architect Puig i Cadafalch.

The New Architecture
New architecture is the name given to the 'places dures'. The buildings are made of metal or concrete. The squares do not have any grass or trees in them. You can find examples of the new architecture by going west along Avinguda del Paral-lel. You arrive at Plaça dels Països Catalans in front of the Sants railway station.

Not far from the railway station is Parc de L'Espanya Industrial. There is a lake in this park with boats and sculptures. The new Parc de L'Esco
rxador is very near. In this park you can see Joan Miró's large sculpture, Dona i Ocell (Woman and Bird). Now, return to Plaça de Espanya and to the south, you will find the site for the Olympic Games, 1992. Montjuïc is a beautiful mountain with gardens, parks and museums. Poble Nou is the Olympic village by the sea.

Source: Ramón Ribé, Neus Serra, Núria Vidal (Heinemann)


chapter: capítulo
for printing out: para imprimir
Cloister: Claustro
walkway: sendero
peaceful: pacífico
Bridge of Sighs: Puente de los Suspiros
Orange Tree Courtyard: Patio de los Naranjos
opposite; enfrente
narrow street: calle angosta
leads to: conduce a
ancient: antigua
flower stalls: puestos de flores
Old Shipyards: Antiguos Astilleros

palm trees: palmeras
snack: refrigerio
at one end of: en un extremo de
high column: columna elevada
pulled down: demolidas
mixture: mezcla
world-famous: mundialmente famoso
amazing: sorprendentes
on a hillside: sobre la ladera de una colina
towers and carvings: torres y esculturas
concrete: hormigón
site for: emplazamiento de