Located outside of the medieval city walls and away from the affluence and nobility of the Gothic Quarter, El Raval was destined to be a marginal part of town. During medieval times, it was home to churches, monasteries, hospitals and a wide range of trades and industries that simply had no place in the Gothic Quarter. By the 20th century, it had garnered a reputation for its seedy streets and, as the city's red-light district, its less-than-moral activities.
In the past few decades, however, El Raval has done a complete 180, maintaining some of its grittiness while becoming home to young bohemian and alternative types and the bars, shops and galleries they frequent. Its new role as an "in" part of town was further helped along by the construction of MACBA, Barcelona's fantastic contemporary art museum. In its surroundings, run-down buildings were torn down, open spaces and pedestrian areas created and the streets polished up.
Below you can take a quick look at some of the top attractions that will cross your path during the guided tour of El Raval.
El Raval Attractions
- Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
- Hospital de la Santa Creu
- Palau Güell
- Sant Pau del Camp Church
- Mercat de Sant Antoni