Among all the places I visited in my Europe trip last April, Barcelona was my favorite. I fell in love with the city almost instantly. I stayed at La Rambla, right opposite Guell Palace. La Rambla is a very popular street in Barcelona. It was buzzing with activity and people, locals and tourists alike. It is a tree lined pedestrian mall with kiosks selling souvenirs, outdoor pubs, street performances and enough quirky characters to keep you occupied all day. It is alive all night, you can buy beer from random sellers at 4 AM when all the shops are shut. It is also a cultural hub housing the opera, the oldest theater of Barcelona, a museum of contemporary art and a baroque palace.
The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, simply known as La Boqueria is a market at La Ramblas. It dates back centuries. The first mention of it is from 1217 when it was just some tables selling meat at the gates of the old city. From December 1740, it was a pig market known as Mercat Bornet. Until 1794 it was known as the Mercat de la Palla or the straw market. It was not enclosed and had no official recognition. The authorities later decided to construct a separate market on La Rambla for butchers and fish mongers. The market was legally recognised in 1826 and an official structure was proposed in 1835. Construction began in 1840 under the architect Mas Vila. The market officially opened that year but it was modified many times after that. A new fish market opened in 1911, and the metal roof that still exists today was constructed in 1914.
The market is so lively and full of activity, it is really easy to get lost in it for a good number of hours. Which is exactly what I did. It is also a photographer’s paradise.