Gothic Quarter

Here you’ll find travel reports about Gothic Quarter. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

175 travelers at this place:

  • Day628

    Barcelona, Spain

    January 24 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 43 °F

    Barcelona – why did we wait so long to visit you?
    Such a beautiful, grand city packed with wonderful restaurants, cafes, shops and remarkable architecture. There was a taxi strike happening for many of the days we were here, but the city is so walkable and the metro so excellent that we didn’t miss the taxis at all.
    Our dear friend Cindy met us here (she also met us in South Africa and Peru making this our 3rd meet-up!) and it was wonderful to catch up and explore the city together.
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  • Day6

    Food in Barcelona

    July 3, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Barcelona is known for its amazing food. The array is extraordinary. There is the best of Spanish food, as well as a range of other influences, such as French (being not far from the border) and Italian, Greek and even north African. The Tapas scene is huge and impossible to effectively explore in a few days. We tended to eat convenience food rather than sit in restaurants, but it is evident that the range of Tapas is extensive and delicious. I was able to sample this on a few occasions but would need a few weeks to really do it justice.

    We visited the famous La Boqueria markets just of La Ramblas (the mall). This market is world famous. It is high-quality food for culinary gourmets. It is just the best culinary experience ever. I bought a couple of little paper cups of cheese and dried meats cut from the bone. These are sold as tasters for a couple of euros each. There are the best fruits and vegetables, meat, poutry and fish, cheese and tapas, coffee and fresh juice, goumet chocolates, dried fruits and nuts, spices, etc. And there are places to order the food and they will prepare it and you can eat it right there. Wow. Worth coming to Barcelona just for this place.

    But the food is exceptional. It is said that the food in Barcelona is the best in Spain. I cannot compare it with anything else in Spain yet, but I can say that it is amazing.
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  • Day6

    Mt Tibadabo

    July 3, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Sam and I took the long route to our second and major destination for the day - we walked for about an hour in the heat of the summer sun. It provided a real insight into the outer suburbs of Barcelona, but the going was hard as it was hilly terrain. The hills are clearly the domain of the rich in Barcelona because some of the houses could only be described as mansions.

    We arrived at the foot of Mt Tibadabo and caught the Funicular up the mountain. This is a tram that travels up the very steep hill, similar to the Scenic Railway in the Blue Mountains, except it goes even longer.

    The effort to get to the top of this mountain was well worth it. The views over Barcelona were amazing. It is difficult to think of a city that has a better vantage point from which ti view the entire city.

    There is an amusement park on top of the mountain which has utlized the height to maximum effect by building ferris wheels, and other scary rides which a placed in a precarious point on the edge of the mountain. Sam and I could not resist going on the Ferris Wheel, which is quite a scary ride given that the mountain drops away beneath the ride.

    We then went to climb the to the church which is perched even higher on the hill. In the first level of the church we discovered a lift that was able to take us to the top level of the church. From there we could climb even higher, right up inside the highest steeple. The view from here was so spectacular it was beyond all expectations. We had 180 degree views. Not only could we see the whole of Barcelona stretched out before us in one direction, the eastern half of the view, but looking west we could see all the way to Mt Montserrat where the famous Monastery is located and all the settlements on the other side of the hills which form a natural boundary of the city. We could also look northwards and see the Pyrenees which form the natural divide between Spain and France.

    The view was spectacular. It took our breath away. I cannot remember having such a high vantage point in any other city. Those visiting Barcelona should not miss this amazing perspective of Barcelona. We stayed up there for an hour - a fitting way to end our visit to this unique Spanish city, the capital of Catalunya.
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  • Day4

    Walk of discovery

    July 1, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    The afternoon and evening walk led to some interesting discoveries. The first was Europe’s oldest synagogue. The Jews were expelled from Spain by Queen Isabella in 1492. It is known as the decree of Al Alhambra because it was in that famous landmark building in Granada that the decree was made. The decree was issued on 1st August that year. Colombus was going to leave for his voyage of discovery from the port of Cadiz on 2nd of August but there were so many Jews in the port rushing to escape Spain that he had to delay leaving till 3rd August. He mentions this in the first page of his record of the voyage.

    The synagogue’s location was lost and only discovered again in 1997 after a study of the records of Jewish tax collectors from the 14th century. The synagogue had been converted to various other uses and its location lost. But the building dates back the 13th century and the foundations back to Roman times.

    The street and building kinks so that the two exterior windows face Jerusalem.
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  • Day4

    Off to Barcelona

    July 1, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    We rose at 4.30 am to shower, dress and pack. At least I showered. We were out of the unit at 5.00 am. The Uber I had booked messaged me to let me know that because of high demand the price had risen from 30 euro to 120 euro for the trip to Orly Airport. I let him know what I thought of the offer and cancelled the trip. A quickly revised plan B was a walk to the metro, a train and then a bus. We arrived a Orly airport at 6.00 am and then joined the long queue. I hate queuing. We made the flight without too many incidents.

    We flew over southern France and then snow-capped mountain range that separates Spain from France.
    We landed in Barcelona at 8.45am. I can’t help thinking of Manuel from Faulty Tower. Que? Ci Que What?

    When we landed we walked straight out of the airport without any customs check or having to show our passport. I imagine this is due to Spain being part of the European Union.

    We caught the Aerobus to the centre of the city. From the we walked down La Ramblas, the famous mall, and then found our way through the incredible Gothic quarter to our Airbnb. We are located in the Gothic quarter and very closer the beach.

    The first stop was Barcelona McDonald’s Sam could compare the Spanish product with our own. It was no better and perhaps even less edible as far as I could tell. Even Sam was not too enthusiastic about it. He gave it a 6 put of 10. I was not aware of a method of ranking McDonald’s food but apparently Sam can assess it against a scale of some kid.

    We settled in and then I left Sam to catch his breath while I went walking and exploring.
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  • Day5

    Bus Tour continues - to Sagrada Familia

    July 2, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    We thought we had seen some amazing sights at Castle Mountjuic, but nothing prepared us for our afternoon and evening exploration of the most amazing thing to see in Barcelona - the Sagrada Familia. This is a cathedral that commenced construction in 1883 and is not due to be completed until 2026, the 100th year anniversary of the death of its mastermind architect, one of Spain's most famous geniuses, Antoni Gaudi.

    This church remains unfinished because the scale of it is such that is is impossible to imagine without seeing it. Our eyes nearly popped out of our heads when we saw the outside of the building, but we had just managed to ensure they were still in place when our eyesight was again challenged by what we experienced on entering the gigantic edifice.

    It is already on UNESCO's list of Heritage sites, without being finished. Can you imagine a church building taking over 100 years to build? When Gaudi (known now to the Spaniards as "God's Architect") was asked why he designed something that would take so long to build, he replied that his client was in no hurry.

    Gaudi designed something so ornate and incredibly detailed and fine that there was only one facade and another small part of the church built in his lifetime. He died in 1926. The buildng continues to this day (with a few interruptions for a civil war and a couple of world wars) and they hope to complete it for Gaudi's 100 year anniversary.

    It is impossible to describe this building. The inspiration comes from nature. So there are no straight lines anywhere. The columns are reminiscent of trees, and the stained glass windows inside go from bright red through orange, blue and green to represent the seasons. But there is too much to say about this building. A few photos are included here, but those who are keen to see it complete can make an appointment to visit in 2026.

    Sacrada Familia means "Holy Family" in Spanish. I am not a huge fan of Catholic churches for obvious reasons, but this one is another level. It puts St Peter's in Rome into the shade.
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  • Day5

    Unusual and Special

    July 2, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    Sam was struggling to work out how the doors to these shops worked - nearly a metre above the ground. We are not sure that they would pass safety standards in Australia. But then we thought they might be designed to receive deliveries. But still, weird on a public street.

    We also visited the Nou Camp today by bus. The stadium for the Barcelona Football Club. The club has 170,000 members. Lionel Messi is their current star player, along with many others of high quality.

    We also saw the famous Barcelona Bull Fighting Ring, which was in use until 1987 and then was closed. It is now a shopping centre but has maintained the charactistic facade.
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  • Day4

    Exploring Barcelona

    July 1, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 23 °C

    The exploration of the the amazing city of Barcelona continues. I came across some amazing gardens adjacent to the Barcelona Zoo. There was Spanish Dancing taking place in the pavillion just for fun. The Spanish have their own genre of music and dance, based on very percussive rapid music, often played on guitar, and flamenco dancing. There is also a strong African element represented in the dancing in the park, which certainly brought the crowds.

    There were some amazing structures in the park which were like mini medieval castles in themselves.

    I found the gothic cathedral in the gothic quarter where we are staying. It is a medieval church with amazing ornate carvings reminiscent of Notre Dame in Paris. There was a busker playing some beautiful baroque violin music and another around the corner singing tenor solos from famous operas. Very high quality busking!

    The old city of Barcelona dates back to Roman times. There are still portions of the Roman wall visible in areas bounding the gothic quarter. The gothic quarter is the old section of the city with narrow streets and high buildings with shops and restaurants at ground level which come alive from lunchtime into the night. The food culture is amazing. One could spend a year here and not exhaust the food options. Delicious food everywhere and people dining on tables set up in the streets and collonades of the old city squares.
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  • Day5

    Seeing the Sites by Barcelona City Bus

    July 2, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    The Hop-on Hop-off bus in Barcelona is a great way to see the main sites (and sights) and avoid crazy amounts of walking. Yesterday I walked over 20km and 30,000 steps (so my phone and watch tell me, and my feet agree) so we decided to buy a bus pass today. There are two major loops of the city (east and west) and they take about an hour each, if one doesn't alight from the bus at any point.

    Sam and I began with the intention of doing the whole western loop without getting off the bus, but that only lasted until we got to the view from Mountjuic and the possibility of going up the mountain by cable car to the Castle Mountjuic that overlooks the city.

    The cablecar ride was fantastic, with incredible views of Barcelona from the glass box hanging precariously off a wire about 80m above the ground. The views were exceeded only by those from the castle at the top of the mountain. This castle dates from medieval times, but was used more recently by the Spanish rulers against their own people, both the fire cannons on the rebels in the city in the 18th and 19th centuries, and to imprison and torture enemies of the state in the 20th century. The Catalan people see themselves as distinct from the Spanish, and Barcelona is the capital of the Catalan region. Spain has been racked by more tragedy from civil war over the last few centuries than any invasion or external war. Even this year the Catalonians tried to become an independent country from Spain. They used to be independent until their rights and territory was taken by Spain in the early 20th century. The Spanish Civil War went from 1936-1939. After that, the dictator Franco ruled the country with an iron fist. It has been a sad country and they have suffered most from the hands of their own countrymen. They are still reluctant to talk about it.

    Mountjuic is a prominent hill and was occupied by the army and ruling classes to control the ordinary people of Barcelona. It is ironic that the mountain got its name from the fact that the Jews had to bury their dead on the hill because they weren't allowed to utilise Christian graveyards back in the 1300s. The name "Mountjuic" comes from "Mountain of the Jews". Ironic given the Jews were all expelled in 1492, and the elite Catalans and Spanish occupied the hill. It is such a famous hill that all the infrastructure for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games was built in Mountjuic.

    There has been an amazing tombstone and inscription found in archaeological digs in relatively recent years. It dates from 1306 and records that Rachel the daughter of Rabbi Abraham was buried there.

    Sam and I had a fantastic time exploring the castle that still stands today. It was used as a prison and place to execute opponents of the Spanish political regime right through the 20th century, but now is an amazing public museum and highlight for tourists visiting this amazing city.
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  • Day53


    October 25, 2016 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 66 °F

    Although we visited Barcelona before, we wanted to make a quick stop there to visit our friend Alex. It's always nice to have a chance to meet up with friends along the way and is even nicer to have a local take you to the best places in town.

    Alex took us to enjoy some tapas and sangria our first night there which were really delicious! And the next day Mitch and I spent walking around to our favorite places we had visited while there last time. Our favorite place in the city is the La Sagrada Familia a cathedral built originally by the famous architect Gaudi. The cathedral which is still being finished today displays Gaudi's work of modernism which is pretty detailed and amazing, unlike any cathedral we've seen in Europe!

    It was a quick stop but a fun one which made us appreciate and like the city even more this time!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Barri Gòtic, Barri Gotic, gothische Viertel, Gothic Quarter, Gòtic, Gótico, El Gòtic, گوتیک کوآرتر بارسلون, quartier gothique, הרובע הגותי, ゴシック, Готический квартал, Готичний квартал, 哥特区

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