La Rambla - Barcelona
To recommend just a single street as a sight which all tourists must see shows just how magnificent Barcelona truly is. La Rambla is an iconic street filled with tourists, business people and locals alike. While strolling through la Rambla you can visit a variety of small stores that sell almost everything, watch various street performances such as actors and mimes, and have your portrait painted, sketched or drawn. Once you are tired of all that you can step into one of the many bars and cafes that line La Rambla. Truly a remarkable place, the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said that La Rambla was “the only street in the world which I wish would never end”.
La Rambla is a 1.2 Km-long pedestrian street composed of a series of smaller streets which connect the Plaça Catalunya in the center of the city with the Christopher Columbus monument at Port Vell. La Rambla start as the Rambla de Canaletes and ends with the Rambla de Mar, a wooden boardwalk in the harbor. If you are coming up from the port you are looking up towards Placa Catalunya. To the left of La Rambla is the Raval area and to the right the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter). La Rambla can also be divided in half with the North end between the Placa Catalunya and the Liceu Theater and the south end which runs from Port Vell to the Liceu Theater.
La Rambla was actually a small stream that flowed just outside the old city walls. In the 16 century convents and universities were built along the river. Later on the city wall was torn down and more buildings were added. Through the years the stream would dry up and fill up once more. When it was dry the river bed was used as a street that connected the port with the old city. Once the river had dried up for good it was paved because of its importance in connecting the port and city. As time went by, benches and trees were added. Today none of the original buildings that lined La Rambla remain but they are remembered by the names of the five Ramblas.
La Rambla is full of sights and attractions. There are live performances, human statue art, street vendors and artists that will draw your portrait. There is also the Wax Museum, the Erotica Museum (with some astonishing toys), the Cristopher Columbus monument and the Boqueria market. Another amazing sight is a Miro. The famouse painter Joan Miro actually created part of La Rambla and thousands of people pass by this artwork without even noticing. You can find Miro’s tile mosaic between the Liceu Theater and the Liceu metro. The mosaic is right in the middle of La Rambla and if you look around you may find one tile signed by Miro himself.
As you can see, La Rambla is no longer a stream or street. Today it is a very important cultural and social part of Barcelona. Any trip to Barcelona is incomplete or impossible without walking La Rambla at least once a day.