Discover the secrets and bygone history of the Raval on this German-language city tour. Discover how people live there today and admire the design and past culture in old and new ruins.
What to Expect
Discover Raval and its bygone history as a place of lepers, farming, and the working class. Learn more about the constant changes of the area outside the city walls of Barcelona.
After the walls were besieged after a short primacy in the 9th century, those who didn't want to give up their homeland settled in the marshy land between the walled city and the Montjuic. Later, this stretch of land was excluded.
For the citizens of Barcelona, the area inside the city walls connoted order, security, and comfort. The "Arrabal," the area on the other side of Las Ramblas (in this time a sandy riverbed), was the absolute opposite. Outcasts and those who had been deemed unfit to live within the city by the citizens of Barcelona were confined to this area, at that time primarily a vegetable and fruit garden.
The crops grown here were used in the city in times of crisis, and because of this the Raval was incorporated in the 15th century after the walls were torn down. The handworkers and merchants of the inner city were among the residents of the Raval.
Learn more about the time of the Industrial Revolution, as the first factory was built in the Raval and the gardens gave way to workers' settlements. The tenements grew taller and taller, the streets contorted into narrow alleys, the sky to a faraway strip, from which little light shone on the gutter.
Discover this district today, which serves not just as a sanctuary for immigrants of all lands but a true cultural melting pot. The Andalucían flamenco spots from the 70s sit alongside Islamic butchers, Pakistani grocers, Chinese internet cafés, and South American beauty salons. They have made a colorful Barrio from the Raval, today one of the most lively, exciting, and authentic parts of the city.
Learn all this and more about the Raval . See the cathedral as well as contemporary culture in old and new ruins during the tour. Visit the unholy area of the holy.
- 3-hour guided tour with a lively tempo
What's Not Included
- Entry fees
- When possible, a visit to the Baroque dissection room (anfiteatro de anatomía) of the Real Academia de Medicina in the medieval Hospital Santa Creu. The entry fee is €3
Know Before You Go
This tour is a 3 weather tour and runs in sun, rain, and wind - even strong showers.
Don't forget a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. A little bottle of water for your thirst can't hurt either. A jacket or thin coat should suffice in the winter months.
The tour is a relaxed walk; no need to rush. There is always time to stop for photos, and no one will begrudge you a bathroom break.
To experience the unique groups around the city up close, the guide sticks to streets and squares on this city tour. Admire monuments from their exteriors; museum visits and interior explorations (with a couple of exceptions) are not part of the program.