What do you think of when you think of Barcelona? Is it always full of tourists around the Sagrada Familia? There are actually some secrets of Barcelona that you might not be aware of; they are all over the city but often go unnoticed. Here are 5 secret spots that are mysterious yet historically rich and will surely add unforgettable flavor to your trip!
1. The Outlandish Casa Vicens
Located on Calle Carolinas, 24, in the Gràcia district, this building was designed by the Barcelona staple, the modernist architect Antonio Gaudí. It was one of Gaudí’s first important works built for the industrialist Manuel Vicens, hence the name. This place is not known by most tourists because it’s not in the Barcelona city center and is not open to the general public (that said, recently the Andorran MoraBanc acquired this building and it’ll be open to the public in 2016). When you visit this building, the remarkable façade alone will transport you to a surreal Middle Eastern-esque palace. Highly recommended!
2. Roman Barcino: the Origin of Barcelona through MUHBA
The headquarters of the Barcelona History Museum (MUHBA) (Plaza del Rey s/n) is the best way to know every bit of Barcelona. It is found right in the Barcelona Gothic Quarter, where Barcino (the ancient Roman city that gave birth to our present Barcelona) is. Here, you can appreciate the origins of Barcelona from the Roman times (1st century AD), Visigoths (7th century AD) and medieval times (13th century AD). To end your visit, you should visit important medieval buildings like the Chapel of St. Agatha that houses the magnificent Altarpiece of Epiphany, built by Jaume Huguet in the 15th century, under the mandate of the king Pedro Gunner of Portugal.
3. A hidden gem in the Gothic Quarter: the Temple of Augustus
If you visited the previously mentioned MUHBA, then you’ll be in the city’s Gothic Quarter that’s oddly addictive with its intricate streets and varied architectural styles. If there is a spot we have to mention, then it certainly is the medieval courtyard found on Calle Paradis, 10. There you’ll find four columns that was once part of the Temple of Augustus. They’re over 2000 years old and are 9 meters high. This monument will transport you back to Roman times and you can savor the city’s history to the fullest.
4. Calm and Peace at the Church of Sant Felip Neri
Continuing our visit in the Gothic Quarter, the Plaça de Sant Felip Neri should also be on your list since it’s so calm and peaceful. You can contemplate upon the city’s past by looking at the façade of the church that was once partially damaged by the aerial bombing of 1938. When the church was restored, the damages on the façade wall were left intact so we could remember the history.
5. The Roman Aqueducts of Barcelona
There were two aqueducts in Barcelona that transported water into the city, one from the River Besòs and the other from Collserola. Both would reach what’s now the Plaça Nova, where we can view the reconstructed aqueduct, besides the two defense towers that are nearby. Another vestige of the aqueduct can be found on Calle Duran i Bas. As the arches are so out of this world, you can appreciate the city of yesteryears to the fullest.
Looking for a place to stay in Barcelona?
Feeling inspired yet? You’re almost there! Before you come to do all these marvelous things in summer in Barcelona you obviously will need to find a place to stay, which is where Spotahome can help! We provide hundreds of personally checked rooms, apartments, and studios in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Granada or Seville. Check out all our available homes here. Your next house could look like this!
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