Every tour starts at the Steps of the Cathedral of Barcelona (not to be confused with Gaudi's Sagrada Familia Basilica). The Cathedral is impossible to miss as it is the tallest and most imposing building in the entire Gothic Quarter.
Where is it located? (Click to enlarge)
Which steps? (Click to enlarge)
It's super easy to get to, and is just 5 minutes from Placa Catalunya and Las Ramblas.
The Gothic Quarter tour takes you on a journey of 2,000 years in the oldest part of Barcelona, where the roots of the city are laid bare for you to explore and enjoy. We take you to all the major sights of the Gothic Quarter, plus lesser known but equally important parts, and give you an in-depth overview of each, all within the context of the city's rich history and ancient roots.
Places we'll visit...
There are ancient traces of the city dating from as far back as the 1st Century BC that we'll explore on the tour. Below are just some of the amazing places we'll visit (click on the images to enlarge them):
Who was Wilfred the Hairy?
What do a bomb, fascism, and a medieval cemetery have in common?
Why was a Roman teenager rolled down a street in a barrel filled with knives?
How do a turtle, Modernism, and a Letter Box relate?
Why did the Black Death change the Jewish Quarter forever?
The symbolism of these letters that appear next to the 13th Century Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona cannot be overstated and are a perfect start to the tour. Find out how they represent the Roman roots of the city and why they will provide an important historical context for the rest of the tour of the oldest part of Barcelona.
Ancient Roman Temple of Augustus
This 2,000 year old Roman Temple is a hidden treasure of Barcelona commonly missed by most visitors to the city. It is the piece de resistance of the city's rich Roman history, and you'll find out why it's hidden inside a modern building.
Wilfred the Hairy & the Catalan Flag
An almost mythological figure in Barcelona and Catalan history, Guifre el Pelos (Wilfred the Hairy) is still revered more than 1,000 years after his death. You'll find out why, plus his importance to the now thriving Catalan nationalism that seeks independence from the rest of Spain.
Placa Nova & Cathedral of Barcelona ("La Seu")
The origins of this square can be traced back to the 14th century. Overlooking the square is the enchanting La Seu, Barcelona's only Cathedral (not to be confused with the more well-known Sagrada Familia Basilica) and a Gothic masterpiece dating back to the 13th century and pre-dating the square it now overlooks. Find out what preceded this magnificent Cathedral.
Casa de l'Ardiaca - The Archdeacon's House
The Archdeacon's House was the residence of the clergy from the 12th century onwards, and was connected directly to the dean's residence in the early 16th century with a beautiful Renaissance-style courtyard built a few centuries later. It has the most interesting letter box in all of Spain, and you'll find out why on the tour.
Placa de Sant Felip Neri
This quiet yet beautiful square in the middle of the Gothic Quarter reflects the medieval cemetery it was built upon. Surrounded by Renaissance-style buildings, on this square lies the 18th century Sant Felip Neri church and school. On the tour, you'll discover why the buildings on this square have visible wounds.
Church of Santa Maria del Pi
This Catalan-Gothic 14th century church has one of the largest Rose Windows in all of Europe, with an impressive 10 meters in diameter. Its unique octagonal bell tower overpowers its surrounding. On the tour, you'll also find out what once stood here.
Baixada de Santa Eulalia Street
This street is named after the Patron Saint of Barcelona, a 3rd century Christian martyr who was tortured at a tender age on this very street for which she is named after. You'll learn about the tortures this young martyr endured against the Romans, why she became the Patron Saint of the city, and see her famous statue depicting her crucifixion.
El Call - Medieval Jewish Quarter
Barcelona's rich history is not only limited to Romans and Christians, it has a remarkable Jewish history as well, starting in the 11th century. Most of this history centers around El Call, the medieval Jewish Quarter of the Old City. Learn about how the Quarter went from being under the direct authority of the King to being outlawed by a King after growing from 70 families to more than 4,000 residents.
This beautiful Royal Plaza modeled after Napoleonic French residential squares is the only square in Barcelona that was designed as a complete unit, with buildings and all. Learn about how a young Gaudi left his mark on this very square.
Placa Sant Jaume
This imposing square is the administrative heart of both Barcelona and all of Catalonia. It houses the impressive and historic Palace of the Generalitat of Catalonia and directly across it, the City Hall. Learn about the rich history of this vital square, and how this square is connected to the ancient city of Troy.
Placa del Rei
This "King's Square" is one of my favorite parts of the entire city of Barcelona, and houses the former residence of the Catalan Counts from the 13th century. Its imposing medieval architecture surrounds you completely and really takes you back in time. On the tour, you'll find out what Christopher Columbus has to do with this medieval square.
Placa Ramon Berenguer el Gran
Named after local hero the Count of Barcelona Ramon Berenguer "The Great" and housing a statue of him in his honor, this square is overlooked by a section of the original Roman Wall dating from the early 4th Century. Find out why Ramon Berenguer is considered a local hero, and just how many towers the original and ancient wall of Barcelona had.