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We still want to spend an afternoon in the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, before returning to Germany. After we arrived with the Renfe high-speed train from Madrid. The next morning we have to take the train via Paris to Saarbrücken and so we have booked the Expo Hotel Barcelona* at the station Barcelona-Sants again.
We take the metro to Rambla. First, we pass the church of Santa Maria de Pi and continue to the Placa de Saint Jaume, the main square of the city. Here is the town hall, with a large banner “Refugees welcome”. The Mayor of Barcelona denounces the policy of the central government in Madrid, which does not want a welcome culture for refugees.
Directly opposite is the Palau de la Generalität. The medieval palace houses the offices of the Presidency of the Generalitat de Catalunya. We do not stay but walk over the Placa de Sant Miquel, which is decorated by the Monumento a los Castellers.
Via the Carrer de Ferran, a popular shopping street, we reach Placa Reial, the royal square. The square, surrounded by arcades, dates back to the 19th century and was built in the classical style. Jugglers and street musicians try to drag the tourists into the spell, but as soon as the police show up they disappear. They play cat and mouse.
Due to the many restaurants and bars, the square is now very popular, after being a popular drug market in the 1980s.
The square is decorated with palm trees. The famous street lanterns are from Gaudi. If one does not come from the Rambla, one can easily overlook the square, since, except for the wide access from there, it has only three gateways openings in the surrounding narrow streets.
We go back through the Carrer de Ferran to the Placa del Rei, the King’s Square. It is one of the landmarks of Catalonia and the seat of the counts of Barcelona and the kings of Aragon.
The Placa del Rei was also the historical center of the city in the Roman era. Here stood the Temple of Augustus. That is why we visit the Historical Museum of the City of Barcelona, the MUHBA, which documents the historical development of the city to the present day. The underground excavations allow a very good insight into the life of the Roman settlement.
Next to the Temple of Augustus one found the remains of craftsmen and an early Christian Baptistery. In the museum is a passage to the medieval Kings Palace. The dimensions of the Salo del Tinell are impressive. Here many festivities were celebrated.
We leave the museum again at Placa del Rei and walk past the cathedral to Carrer del Bisbe. This is spanned by the “Sighs Bridge”, which connects the Palau de la Generalitat building and the Casa del Canonges, the seat of the canons. We discover an inner courtyard adorned with flowers.
Past the front of the cathedral, we stroll to the Mercat de Santa Caterina. This time we visit the market because on our last visit there was a wine festival.
We eat a bite and return to the Expo Hotel Barcelona*, where we spend the rest of the evening on the roof terrace. From where you have a wonderful panorama view of Barcelona.
The next morning we cross Barcelona-Sants station until we reach the train from Renfe-SNCF, which departs as usual on time.
We enjoy the journey, which gives us the opportunity to process the impressions of the past two weeks. But as soon as we pass the Pyrenees, the sky darkens and we soon realize that we will miss the sun of Spain.
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