La Rambla in Barcelona

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© Sergi Larripa/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Sergi Larripa/cc-by-sa-3.0

La Rambla is a street in central Barcelona. A tree-lined pedestrian street, it stretches for 1.2 km (0.75 mi) connecting the Plaça de Catalunya in its center with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. La Rambla forms the boundary between the neighbourhoods of the Barri Gòtic to the east and the El Raval to the west. La Rambla can be crowded, especially during the height of the tourist season. Its popularity with tourists has affected the character of the street, which has shifted in composition to pavement cafes and souvenir kiosks. It has also suffered from the attention of pickpockets. The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said that La Rambla was “the only street in the world which I wish would never end.” La Rambla can be considered a series of shorter streets, each differently named, hence the plural form Les Rambles (the original Catalan form; in Spanish it is Las Ramblas). The street is successively called:

  • Rambla de Canaletes – the site of the Font de Canaletes fountain
  • Rambla dels Estudis – the site of the former Jesuit University, whose only remainder is the Church of Bethlehem
  • Rambla de Sant Josep (or de les Flors) – the site of an open-air flower market
  • Rambla dels Caputxins – the site of a former Capuchin monastery, now dominated by the Liceu opera-house
  • Rambla de Santa Mònica – an arts center named after the convent of St. Monica.

To the north of La Rambla lies Plaça de Catalunya, a large square in central Barcelona that is generally considered to be both Barcelona’s city center and the place where the old city and the 19th century-built Eixample converge.

© flickr.com - Tony Hisgett/cc-by-2.0 © Lmbuga/cc-by-sa-3.0 © panoramio.com - Jens Cederskjold/cc-by-3.0 © Sergi Larripa/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Sergi Larripa/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Enric/cc-by-sa-4.0
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© panoramio.com - Jens Cederskjold/cc-by-3.0
To the east of La Rambla is the Barri Gòtic or Gothic Quarter, the heart of the old city of Barcelona. The Barri Gòtic retains a labyrinthine street plan, with small squares and streets, many of which connect onto the Rambla. One of the larger of these squares is the Plaça Reial, a lively 19th century square with tall palm trees and street lamps designed by Antoni Gaudí, which opens down a short entrance passage off the Rambla dels Caputxins. Further into the Barri Gòtic can be found the Cathedral of Santa Eulàlia and the Plaça Sant Jaume that houses the buildings of the Generalitat of Catalonia and Barcelona’s City Council.

To the west of La Rambla is the rather different El Raval quarter. Outside the city’s earliest walls, this area was originally the site of various religious and medical institutions. Later factories grew up along with housing for the workers, whilst the proximity to the port led to the area becoming known for its nightlife and clubs, as well as prostitution and crime. Today the area still retains a degree of ‘edge’, but it also home to several important buildings, including Gaudí’s Palau Güell, which is only a few steps down the Carrer Nou de la Rambla from the Rambla dels Caputxins.

At the southern end of the Rambla is the Christopher Columbus Monument and the Port Vell, the old port of Barcelona, now largely given over to pleasure craft. Near to the port end of the Rambla are the Royal Dockyards (Catalan: Drassanes), which house a maritime museum specifically devoted to naval history in the Mediterranean.

Extensions at either end of the Rambla also carry the name Rambla, but are not normally considered part of La Rambla itself. To the north, the Rambla de Catalunya extends into the Eixample district. To the south, construction of the Maremàgnum in the early 1990s resulted in a continuation of La Rambla on a wooden walkway into the Rambla de Mar harbor.

Read more on barcelona-tourist-guide.com – La Rambla, Amics de la Rambla – Association of La Rambla and Wikipedia La Rambla (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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