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A Great Self-Guided Walk in Barcelona

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Barcelona is a city with lots to see, from fashionable markets to vibrant festivals, and it’s easy to see why it’s one of Spain’s most interesting cities. Though you’ll find plenty of interesting sights by just setting off for a wander, you could also try a self-guided walking tour to make sure you view the interesting stuff! The suggested walk is full of interesting architecture and history:

Begin: Plaça Nova – the Gothic Quarter’s largest open air space. Behind you is the Collegi de Architects. This features a frieze designed by Picasso. Climb the Carrer del Bisbe, the narrow street coming from the square. Take the first street on the right which will be the Carrer de Montjuïc del Bisbe de Santa Llúcia. Follow this winding street to:

2 Plaça de Sant Felip Neri

A small square with a charming fountain and a mixture of architecture  from a 17th Century church to a Renaissance style building which has the Museu de Calçat (Shoe Museum) inside. Go back to the Carrer del Bisbe. Go left, then next right for the Carrer de Santa Llúcia. Follow it to:

3 Casa de L’Ardiaca (Archdeacon’s House)

A 15th-century Gothic building with 20th-century motifs. It has a beautiful courtyard. Exit the courtyard and walk a few steps to the:

4 Plaça de la Seu

The courtyard in front of the Catedral de Barcelona. Spend a while touring the Cathedral, and then when you leave, turn right on to the Carrer dels Comtes. 100 yards on the left is the:

5 Museu Frederic Marès

A museum full of Romanesque and Gothic religious artifacts, based in a 13th-century former bishop’s palace. It has another beautiful courtyard. When you leave, keep going in the same direction. A short way further on is the:

6 Arxiu de la Carona d’Aragó

Which is a gothic building, the work of Antonio Carbonell. Formerly known as the Palau del Lloctinent (Deputy’s Palace), it features beautiful centuries old grapevines.

Leave the courtyard to get back to Carrer dels Comtes. Walk up the street directly ahead, which will be the Carrer de la Pietat, then follow the first street on your left, the Carrer del Paradis. The:

7 Temple d’Augustus

is at no 10. This was Roman Barcelona’s main temple. Four huge columns is all that remain, in a medieval courtyard. Go back along the Carrer de la Pietat to the Palau del Lloctinent. Head in the same direction on the same street and you will come to:

8 Plaça del Rei

The Royal Palace. Here you can also visit Palau Reial, the Museu d’Història de la Ciutat and the Palatine Chapel of Santa Agata. Leave the Plaça del Rei by its southern side. Go left into the Baixada de Llibretería. A few yards on, turn left and cross over Carrer Ferran. Walk along the Carrer de la Dagueria. You will find yourself in the:

9 Plaça de Sant Just

Where the 14th Century church, the Església dels Sants Just i Pastor is to be seen. Opposite it is the is the 18th-century Palau Moxó, an elegant town house. Keep walking in the same direction along the Carrer de la Dagueria, whose name will change to the Carrer de Lledó. Take the second street on the right, the Carrer Cometa  – it’s named after the sighting of a comet in the spot in 1834. Right again into the Carrer del Regomir. At no. 3 is the:

10 Pati de Llimona

A community centre with 15th Century galleries and the remains of the Roman sewage system displayed beneah glass in the floor. Next door is the 16th Century Chapel of Saint Christopher. Keep going up the Carrer Regomir – the street name will change to the Carrer de la Ciutat – and you will reach the:

11 Plaça de Sant Jaume

This is where the Palau de la Generalitat – Catalonia’s Parliament is based. You’ll see lots of politicians rushing around. The Casa de la Ciutat/Ayuntamiento, the Town Hall, is here too. Turn your back to the Casa de la Ciutat, go across the square to the right and then turn left once more into the Carrer del Bisbe. Hard right is the:

12 Casa del Canonge (House of the Canon)

A series of 14th Century houses, restored in the 20th Century and now the President of the Generalitat. You’ll see a charming bridge with lacy carvings across the road. Keep walking along Carrer del Bisbe until you get to your starting place, the Plaça Nova.

By now you should have seen plenty of beautiful carvings, Gothic buildings and magnificent churches – so it’s time for a well-deserved coffee and rest!

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