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Friday, July 15, 2011

Barcelona and its Hidden Holiday Gems

Overview of the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada...Image via Wikipedia
Author: Porsche Klinger

If you are up for a bit of history then schedule a HOLIDAY IN BARCELONA, more so to Barcelona's Gothic Quarter. The narrow cobblestone streets are lined with ancient buildings which vary in style but for the most part they are Moorish in origin. This area is also well known for the famous personalities that once called this place their home such as Picasso and Joan Miro.
If you are familiar with the old Roman Colony of Barcino, you will find that it is about the same size as the Gothic Quarter. The Gothic Quarter is the oldest part of Barcelona but it has a mixture of architecture from different periods that sit well with each other. Although changed to some extent, the Gothic Quarter remains almost intact as compared to other European cities' old sections.

A part of the Gothic Quarter is taken up by the Palace of the Generalitat. This civil building houses the government of the autonomous community of Catalonia and the City Hall. All this is found on the Plaza Sant Jaume in the heart of the old city. There are a number of other plazas in the city where you will find such places as palaces, churches, museums, the cathedral and more. These picturesque squares include Plaza Reial, Plaza del Rei, Plaza Catalunya and Plaza Nova.
As you stroll around Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, you will uncover many hidden treasures for you to enjoy and explore. This ancient part of the city is obviously the oldest part and is situated in the heart of Barcelona. Due to its age most of the public buildings are located in this area. The interconnecting narrow streets resemble a spider's web with back streets leading to squares where you will find chic boutiques, cafes and restaurants. This area represents Barcelona at the epitome of its commercial prosperity which is exemplified in the 14th and 15th century buildings left behind. This of course, all happened before the city became part of the Castile.
If you would like to see part of the walls that once surrounded the city then venture over to the cathedral, Spain's greatest Gothic building, as they now form part of later structures. The place to be on a weekend evening is the Plaza de Sant Jaume. They have weekly sardana dancing for you to enjoy; this is a traditional Catalonian dance.
Something you may not know is the Gothic Quarter lies in the heart of old Barcelona. It is also a medieval city that was built on the remains of Roman structures. This spider's web of back streets is home to some unique, charming little squares that are filled with shops, restaurants and bars. To get the lay of the land, the Gothic Quarter is situated between Via Laietana and the world famous shopping boulevard Las Ramblas. At the top of the old city is the Plaza Catalunya and at the bottom is the port. There are pedestrians shopping street known as Portal de L'Angel that starts from the Plaza Catalunya and the cathedral where you will find the old Roman wall that once surrounded the city. Once you are in this area you will find that you will have easy access to most major attractions including the Roman remains beneath the City History Museum.
While on your HOLIDAY IN BARCELONA venture over to the palm-lined square known as the Plaza Real close to Las Ramblas. Once you have explored the old section of the city this is a good place to relax and do absolutely nothing but watch the world pass by while you contemplate the day's activities.
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About the Author

Porsche is an avid traveller throughout the holiday region of Spain. She loves writing about all of those special hideaways we all would love to find so keep reading about all of her travels and things to do in this lovely country. At present she is travelling and writing for and telling you just why you should book your dream holiday home from the Owners Direct.
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