What to visit / Barcelona, district by district / Ciutat Vella / La Ribera / Passeig del Born

Passeig del Born

With the Born Market at one end and the church of Santa Maria del Mar at the other end, the Passeig del Born still retains its medieval flavour on the terraces of its fashionable bars. A charming avenue that has adapted to new times without turning its back on its past.

This pretty little avenue with its medieval flavour is a vibrant place, teeming with people who fill the terraces of the city's most modern bars. It's also one of the city's most popular nightlife hotspots with the young and the not so young. A place steeped in history which dates back to medieval times when the Born, as its name suggests, (born is Catalan for jousting field) hosted tournaments and jousting matches. It was also the site of the Holy Week processions and early carnivals.

As well as being a centre for festivities and celebrations, the avenue also conceals some of the darkest chapters in Barcelona's history: in the 16th century the victims of the Inquisition were executed here, and in 1714 it was occupied by Philip V's troops following the Siege of Barcelona. This was when the medieval street lost part of its original physiognomy. In spite of this, some of the 14th- century buildings take us back to glorious past times. Under the shade of the trees, it's well worth enjoying this special place that stretches from the old Born Market to the splendid Gothic church of Santa Maria del Mar.

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