El Raval was separated from the city by walls up until 1859, the walls were demolished to support the rapidly growing nature of the city back then. This neighbourhood had a high immigrant population due to the industrialisation and closeness to the port. The council made it a priority to clean up this area in the 1990s and created institutions such as Centre de Cultura Contemporánia and Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), which have since given El Raval its status back. El Raval is now one of the most colourful districts with the most going on.
Palau Güell is another piece of architecture from the genius, Antoni Gaudi. This mansion was built for Eusebi Güell and was completed in 1888. The mansion is a beautiful work of art and to no surprise is protected as a world heritage site. Gaudi designed a grand center room with the purpose of entertaining high society guests. Gaudi’s design is a big part of the city’s identity and it would be a shame to not visit this gem.
El Gran Teatre del Liceu
The Gran Teatre del Liceu first opened in 1847 and has had a troubled past having multiple fires, a bombing and a financial crisis. It is still one of the most famous stages in the world with over 2200 seats. With its international interest, the latest shows have various language subtitles so there is no excuse not to go for non-Spanish speakers.
MACBA was at the forefront of the restoration process of El Raval. Inside you will find important work from international artists from the 20th century. Not only are there a great range of exhibitions but they also change every 3 to 6 months. If you plan to visit, it is recommended that you do some reading on the displays in order to fully understand and appreciate them.
Food and coffee
El Raval has a lot of variety if you are looking for lunch or afternoon coffee. One that we highly recommend is Nomad coffee, perfect if you are looking for great coffee and a small cake/pastry. If you are looking for lunch we recommend a Dona Rosa or Avocado.
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