We were strolling around to find interesting place. Then we find a nice courtyard and stepped in. How lucky we were! We find these:
I learned that this building is Palau del Lloctinent. The sculptures seemed familiar to me. I'll keep searching.
The shiny spot on the picture is a hand-shaped. People cannot resist touching it. This is why it shines. I am not sure there is some kind of superstition in this case.
When I was walking down the old latin quarter, I came across this hidden quarter. I went in and inside I also found an old fountain where in the water there were coins from all over the world. Very much a trait of fountains in Europe. I was getting greedy at the look of the coins since I am an avid coins collector.
Stroll around... its so funny and at the same you can discover hidden places and non-tourist streets, typical local tea houses or moroccan coffee shops...
Gotic preserves the former Barcelona alley streets and the culture is a melting pot actually .. morrocian, locals, chinese, pakistanese and other cultures live together there.. above all in Raval subquarter .. one of the most trendy places nowadays!
We (schooltrip people) had to walk to learn about architecture in Barcelona. And We had to find a nice place to enjoy our picnic lunch.
So from "Barri Gotic" we walked through "el Arc de Triomf" to the park "de la Ciutadella": very nice.
After Lunch we walked to the "Olympic spot" and further along the beach.
When you are in the neighbourhood of the Barcelona Cathedral, you have to take a good look around. There are countless beautiful alleys and little squares here to explore. Here you can find the original Barri Gotic and make the most beautiful pictures.
The best part of the Barri Gotic is getting lost in the twists and turns, and then stumbling upon a square or a church that takes your breath away. The little (really little!) bars and cafes tucked into the old buildings make you feel like you've stepped back in time. Of course you're brought back to present day when a scooter comes racing by!
In the Gothic Quarter, not far from the Placa del Rei, you can find this quiet little terrace, where you can have a drink surrounded by old charming stnoe walls.
One of them is the Cathedral, so I think it won't be hard to find (I can't remember the exact address).
A seemingly random maze of endless streets will lull you into thinking this is an uninteresting residential part of the great city. But hidden amongst the graffiti and balconies are fantastic shops, great restaurants and beautiful buildings. You just have to know where to look! Either that, or spend days here wandering the streets and taking pictures of the streetlife. You'll be strolling down yet another vaguely downtrodden street, wondering where everybody is and suddenly realise how beautiful the street looks with the sun filtering down through the buildings... and you'll no longer care where everybody is.
It's not hectic like Las Ramblas, but it's more real, more natural and much more rewarding.
Immediately to the west of Las Ramblas is the Barri Gotic or Gothic quarter, formerly known as the Cathedral Quarter and Barcelona’s oldest quarter.
Its area extends roughly from the Rambla to the Placa Nova. This is where the Roman Barcino colony was founded in the first century and whose roman wall dates back to the third century. Perhaps the period of the city's greatest splendor were the 13th to 15th centuries, in which most of this Gothic Quarter was built and today contains many of the city's most emblematic buildings.
The Barri Gotic offers everything that Barcelona's Modernista architecture and l'Eixample do not. Streets in this district are very narrow. Its narrow, winding streets were not the products of careful planning and rapid execution, but have developed out of centuries of architectural and cultural mixing, from the early Roman through the medieval Romanesque and Gothic periods.
Although sunshine hardly finds a place here, it is one of the city's best places to stroll. In the Middle-Ages, this neighborhood used to be encircled by the city walls. Big efforts are being made to prevent the deterioration of this quarter.
This area is best enjoyed by wandering slowly and paying close attention to your surroundings. Nearly every street has at least a few interesting historical sights and an endless array of shops, eateries, and cafes.
In the Placa del Pi, near the old church, stands this ornately decorated, pink-colored building facing the square. This is one of the most beautifully decorated buildings that I saw in the old area near the La Ramblas and it is worth a visit to see.
Placa del Pi is a medieval area that grew outside the former Roman era walls. The Catalan gothic church (also lining Placa Josep Oriol) Basilica Santa Maria del Pi was founded in the 10th century although the present structure is mostly from 1322. It is a very nice church to visit and photograph.
Near here the Bar del Pi is an old style cafe where artists and bohemians hang out.
On the weekend, there is an art fair and food market centered in the areas surrounding the old church. It is a really neat place to see and look around for both art and area crafts and food.
The small street at the end of the Placa del Pi is Calle Petritxol., a nice spot to sip a hot chocolate--a 'suizo' is with cream-- 'churros' (a donut-like pastry) in one of the many typical old cafes.
To see some of the Roman remains in Barcelona you should visit the area near the Cathedral. Several sections of the northeastern walls of Roman Barcino are still standing near the cathedral.
Carrer Tapineria, which runs from Placa de l'Angel (to your right with your back facing Via Laietana) to Placa Ramon Berenguer, does double duty as a parking space for motorcycles and as a viewing space from which you can see a large stretch of a 4th-century defense wall under the Palau Reial Major.
Continuing along C. Tapineria and making a left onto Av. de la Catedral lands you in Placa Seu (in front of the Cathedral), where you can see the only intact octagonal corner tower left today, part of the Museu Diocesa.
To the right of the cathedral are several more Roman towers and a reconstruction of one of the two aqueducts that ran through here to supply water to Barcino.
In Barcelona there really is not much left of the old roman structures from the 1st to the 4th centuries AD. Typically there are just bits of walls and towers. You can find one of the more interesting of these roman ruins off Carrer (Street) Duran i Bas where there are three arches worked into a wall. These are particularly old and are the last supports of the aqueduct that brought fresh water into roman Barcino.
What is shown in this picture is a reconstruction of one of the aqueducts that carried water into the city around the 1st century AD. Here also you can see one of the original lateral passages for pedestrians and two semi-circular towers that defended a gate that is no longer in existence.
There is an explanatory marker across the street from these ruins that provide some detail about what you are seeing.
Roman brick can often be seen in the walls around the cathedral and also as part of the walls of the buildings that stand to each side of the small side streets and byways near the La Ramblas.
The Romans distinguished between those bricks which were merely dried by the sun and air (lateres crudi), and those which were burnt in the kiln (cocti or coctiles). Typically they preferred clay which was either whitish or decidedly red (like the ones I saw in Barcelona).
They considered spring the best time for brick-making, and kept the bricks two years before they were used. They made them principally of three shapes; the Lydian, which was a foot broad, 1-1/2 feet long; the tetradoron, which was four palms square, i.e. 1 foot; and the pentadoron, which was five palms square.
While you are walking around the side streets between the La Rambla and the Cathedral or in the Barri Gotic section be sure that you cast your glance upwards occasionally. Most tourists are looking into the windows of the stores or noticing the cobblestone streets under their feet. Few, however, seem to take notice of the interesting architectural and historical sights that are above them in the walls of some of the older buildings.
Up on the walls you can often see Arrow Loops (An opening in any type of fortification wall, usually shaped like a key hole, vertical slit or cross, that allows an archer to fire his weapon with a great amount of protection) where the ancient citizens manned these walls in defense of the old city. I found them on many of the buildings close to the old roman areas and the cathedral.
Occasionally I think I also saw some of the old battlements (a fighting position on the top of the castle wall or tower. This includes the crenellated wall and the wall walk) from which the defenders could fight off attacks.