As soon as you exit the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona, you will find yourself in Sant Jaume Square or as it is known in Barcelona, Plaça Sant Jaume. Take a stroll down the square to see the Barcelona city hall, and if you're lucky enough to be there during the Christmas season you will also see the popular life-size Nativity scene.
This popular square is in the Gothic District/Barri Gotic, the old town.
The power "lives" here:
- On one side, the Generalitat Palace (the presidency of Catalunya); gothic style from the 15th century (main pic).
- On the other side, the City Hall; neoclassic style from the 19th century (second pic).
Mero: Jaume I (line 4) is the closest station although once you are in the Gothic district, you will find it easily.
This square, reminiscent of an Italian piazza, is the political centre of Barcelona. The ancient Barcelona was founded excatly here (on Mons Taber, they built the roman forum here) and nowadays we can find the two political powers: the Generalitat (or the seat of the Catalan Autonomous Government) and the Town Hall.
You might find strange this big square in the middle of the narrow streets of the Barri Gòtic. This is a result of a "desamortització" (destruction of a lot of houses) in 1823 to build this square and the Princesa and Ferran streets.
Sant Jaume Square has this name in honour of a little church dedicated to Sant Jaume that was exactly here
Placa de Sant Jaume is the centre of Barcelona's civic life and has a historical past that dates back to Roman times. The square is flanked by the city's two main government buildings - the Palau de la Generalitat and the Ajuntament.
Located on the northern side of the square is the Palau de la Generalitat, which is the seat of Catalonia's regional government. The building was constructed in the 15th century, though parts of it have been updated since then. It is open for guided visits on the 2nd & 4th Sundays of the month (from 10am-1pm) and also on 23 Apr, 11 Sep & 24 Sep (entrance via Carrer de Sant Sever).
Across the square is the Ajuntament, also known as the Casa de la Ciutat. This is the City Hall, and has been the seat of city power since the 14th century. There have been many modifications to the building over the years, and it doesn't retain much of its former Gothic style. The Ajuntament is open to visitors on Sundays between 10am-1pm.
The heart of Barri Gotic.Here you'll find Palau de la Generalitat and the Ajuntment or Casa de la Ciutat.Both are architecturally beautiful.This is also the meeting place for the "Gegants" (giants),huge papier-maché figures that parades through the street on Barcelona's main festival on September 24,Our Lady of Mercy.
This is an area to the north of Ramblas Ave and holds a lot of shopping and eating establishments. In the plaza is some adminisrative offices, and near the La Seu Church-Cathedral St. Eulalia.