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Saturday, January 28, 2023

24 hours in Barceloneta, where Barcelona’s seafaring soul thrives


260 year old Barceloneta is a seafaring and working class neighborhood where you can still find neighbors who will tell you what the place was like years ago. The daily chores aren’t what typically appear in postcard photos, and unsuspecting tourists don’t usually go inside. When it’s hot, many visitors are seen on its colorful promenade, which begins in luxury Hotel W, designed by Ricardo Bofill, and ends at the Monument to the fishes, designed by Frank Gehry in 1992. This seaside neighborhood is still L’Ostia to some, especially the older ones. Although it is said that the name comes from the number of oysters its waters used to carry, another version speaks of the contraband that came from the Roman port of the same name. The truth is that the neighborhood was built in the 18th century when its banks were no longer flooded. The growth and development of the Port of Barcelona have been instrumental in the creation of this district, which takes on a special glow in the summer.

9:00 bars of your life

Pedro arrived in Barcelona in 1992, at the height of the Catalan capital’s boom due to the Olympic Games that transformed the city. “Before, there were two underground tunnels that took you to the beach,” he says while sitting at the bar bar pinol (Andrea Doria, 28) (1), a typical tavern where the residents of the neighborhood usually go, ideal for breakfast. The Smoked Bay (Bulwark, 56) (two) It’s another typical establishment with more history in the neighborhood, it’s more than 75 years old and more than three generations of the Solé family have lived there. Is in that marketplace and it draws attention because there are always people sitting around a table. It only opens in the morning and some neighbors say that the traditional Catalan bomba was invented here, where they have the best price (2 euros). Mention other neighbors The Bomb (Machinist, 3) as the creator of this ball of pressed and fried potatoes. Another good place for breakfast is Paco’s Bar (3)in the same market.

10:00 Gaudi’s contribution

A few meters from the mouth of the metro Barceloneta is the Palace Square (4), which was the main square of Barcelona in ancient times. Everything that arrived by sea passed through here and for a long time was the only access from the port to the city. In the 19th century, the city council commissioned Antonio Gaudí to design some of the lampposts that can still be seen in front of the building the ancient customs of Barcelona. You can see them in the same place Fountain of the Catalan Geniusa neoclassical-style monument dedicated to the memory of a Captain General of Catalonia, Francisco Bernaldo de Quirós y Mariño de Lobera, who brought the waters of the Moncada Mountains to the region in 1826.

10:30 am Review of the history of Catalonia

If we cross the Ronda de Litoral, we find them pau vila placewhere is that, that, that Sea Palace (5), a building constructed between 1880 and 1890 which initially served as the former General Stores of Commerce. With a port architecture from the 19th century, the building now houses the Museum of the History of Catalonia and the Center for Contemporary History. Opened in 1996, the museum is an essential visit to learn more about the past of this Spanish region. Its permanent exhibition of around 4,000 square meters covers everything from the Upper Palaeolithic to Franco-Catalonia in seven parts. waiting on the roof 1881 the Terrace of the Indianas, a restaurant with bar and viewpoint from which you can see La Barceloneta from a bird’s eye view, accessible with the museum ticket.

12:00 A bath before sunbathing

Of the city’s nine beaches, four are in Barceloneta. somorrostro (6) It is on the border with Poble Nou. Barracks for up to 15,000 people used to be located on this sandbank, some of which can be seen in the photo La Chunga in Somorrostro by Oriol Maspons and Julio Ubiña from 1958 (now on display at the Reina Sofía in Madrid). The beach follows Barcelona (7) where most tourists from all over the world meet and beach bars on the sand are the order of the day. Practicing languages ​​here will not be very difficult. those of Saint Michael (8th) It owes its name to the church of Sant Miquel de Port, built in 1755, and is also one of the busiest in the city. Next to it and nearby is the W Hotel Sant Sebestia, (9)one of the oldest beaches where you can practice naturism at sea level Barcelona swimming club (10). Unlike the others, it is the least crowded and is usually the favorite of Barcelonans.

14:30 lunch break

Entering the heart of the neighborhood we find a series of dining recommendations. With over 65 years, Can Ramonet (machinist, 17) (eleven) It is a restaurant where you can taste homemade food with a touch of originality and freshness. Incidentally, it is the oldest inn in the port, as it has been in the same place since 1753 and today belongs to the Ramonet Group. It offers daily menus for less than 20 euros with dishes such as loin with cod with chanfaina or veal steak with pepper and fries. The Bomb (Jean of Bourbon, 19) (12), For its part, it offers stuffed squid and its famous fried potatoes.

16:00 The modernist imprint

In which Barcelona park (13)Located below the Ronda del Litoral and opened in 1996, you can see a wide variety of plant species. It is located where the Catalana de Gas factory previously operated, which closed in 1989. It is an open space where there are also basketball courts and you can see young people and teenagers playing sports. The park is divided into three parts and one of them is The water towera modernist building designed in 1907 by the architect Domènec i Estapà, where the conical brick roof can be seen trencadis.You can also find here Factory from the sun, another must-see space for its modernist architecture. The work of the same architect, it is now the headquarters of Sustainable Barcelona Resources, in charge of environmental education.

17:00 Literary Barceloneta

Books and readers have two havens in this part of Barcelona. The first of them is Fahrenheit 451 (salt, 5) (14), which until recently was Paco Camarasa’s legendary Black and Criminal Bookstore. Today it is managed by Sergio Lledó and his partner Azra Ibramovich. “We started with a traveling bookshop in Sitges and our goal was to valorise the bookseller’s trade at the expense of consumption on-line“ says Lledó in a small room where it is possible to have a coffee. Thanks to the initiative of a customer who bought the premises, the former crime bookstore now bears the name of the title of one of Ray Bradbury’s works. “The old one was darker. We opened it up and lit it a little more, but it keeps the warmth that Negra had.” The other is the bookstore Garba (machinist, 19) (fifteen), which has been in operation for almost 40 years. Originally opened and founded by Pilar Malla as a cooperative, it has passed through the hands of more than one owner. Today it is run by the Barceloneta Abierta Association, who decided to take over the site after the last owner retired. “They looked for mutual guarantees among the neighbors, who each deposited between 100 and 1,000 euros,” says Xavi Noya, one of their employees. 40,000 euros were needed for the transfer. “Today, thanks to the neighbors, the bookshop keeps going.”

19:00 Coffee as a souvenir

If something has shaped neighborhoods like Barceloneta, it’s the thriving spirit of its neighbors. Few family businesses have stood the test of time. One of them is Coffee Salvador (machinist, 15) (16), one of the few in Barcelona where you can take home freshly roasted and packaged coffee from different parts of the world. The bag costs around 18 euros and you can choose between more than 14 types of coffee. Miguel Palau, Salvador’s son, has worked in what started as Colmada for 37 years. “I’ve lived in this area all my life and there are still older customers who still come and shop with us. Of course they are becoming fewer and fewer,” he says, showing the bags of green coffee. “If you smell it, you will feel that it still smells like land.”

21:00 A walk after dinner

Pacco mayor (Emilia Llorca Martin, 12) (17) It is the third generation of the rice restaurant of the same name, which is over 101 years old. When he was 13, his grandfather came from Berlanga de Duero (Soria) and worked with the former owner of the shop at the time, who sold him the premises in installments. “He slept under the wine boots,” says Alcalde. “The fishermen came with 20 or 30 liter bottles to be filled with wine. Sometimes they would come with huge boots on their shoulders.” Back then, ice cream was sold loose. “They charged a peseta of ice cream and cut up the huge block with a saw,” says Alcalde. “Many people came on Sunday morning to drink vermouth. At that time the Suau was used, that was coffee with soda”. Salamanca (Pepe Rubianes, 34) (18) It is another emblematic fish restaurant with more than 50 years of experience that various celebrities have passed by. For something more homemade, The new Ramonet (Carbonel, 5) (19) has a cooler, more casual vibe The fresh (machinist, 8) (twenty) where you can dine for 10 to 20 euros per person.

A walk through the promenade After dinner, it can be a good way to say goodbye to the neighborhood.

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Source elpais.com

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