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Barcelona with history

The Ciutat Comtal

In the Middle Ages, Barcelona became the Ciutat Comtal (Count’s City) and its political importance increased. It became the seat of the main political institutions in Old Catalonia and that favoured the development of trade which, in turn, led to the city’s growth and expansion, and the construction of some magnificent Gothic-style buildings.

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  • Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

    To understand medieval Catalan art you should visit the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC - National Art Museum of Catalonia). It houses one of the most important Romanesque art collections in the world, with some outstanding mural paintings, such as the Pantocràtor.

  • Monastery of Sant Pau del Camp

    Sant Pau del Camp, the Benedictine monastery in the heart of the Raval neighbourhood, invites visitors to step back into the 10th century, when building was taking place outside the city walls. It is one of Barcelona's best preserved Romanesque buildings.

  • Monastery of Pedralbes

    The Monastery of Pedralbes, founded in 1326 on the high ground of the Barcelona plain, is one of the most precious of all Catalan Gothic buildings. In fact it contains what is regarded as the world's largest Gothic cloister, three storeys high.

  • Reials Drassanes

    The old Royal Shipyards occupy one of largest and most imposing Gothic-style civil buildings in the city. Now housing the Maritime Museum, it offers a look at Barcelona's sailing history.

  • Sant Pere de les Puel·les

    Sant Pere de les Puel·les was a Romanesque convent founded in the 9th century outside the city walls that gave its name to the whole quarter. The church has been preserved, including the remains of the Visigothic chapel that preceded it.

  • El Call

    The heart of Barcelona preserves the web of tiny streets that made up the medieval Jewish quarter, the Call, containing what could be the oldest synagogue in Europe. The city's history museum MUHBA has an interpretation centre enabling visitors to learn more about it.

  • The old Santa Caterina convent

    Below the colourful Santa Caterina market lie the remains of the 13th century convent it is named after, regarded as the city's most outstanding Gothic convent, even though it was demolished in 1835.

  • The medieval wall

    The Barcelona Archaeological Map, produced by the City Council's Archaeology Service, shows users the exact boundary of the medieval wall and that of the modern city.