Just opened its doors in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona: Arai. In the “Palace of the Four Rivers” this apart hotel is a 4 star luxury monument to the city that has recovered an architectural gem.
Everything in the Arai breathes history. Perfectly located where Las Ramblas, the Cathedral and the harbour meet. Its location offers us two thousand years of history: Roman remains, medieval, baroque and modernist. We will also be able to life the daily pulse of the locals: markets, churches, theatres, hotels, shops, restaurants, tourists … So we are in the perfect place to experience authenticBarcelona.
Gothic Quarter, a neighbourhood where the past coexists the present, an open air museum. The scenario of the best legends.
To know every corner and discover its culture background Joan Coll, director of Cultruta, with an experience of over 5 years as a tour guide, shows us some of the stories and the Gothic spaces hidden from us.
Haven’t you ever wondered where the name of Boqueria came? It comes from Boc, which in Catalan means goatling. A history dating back to the XIII century when the meat more succulent and tender of the goat was sold within the city, where wealthy people lived. But in the suburbs, where popular Boqueria market is located today, sold the boc, a tougher meat with lower quality. Managers were selling “boquers” and that’s when the Boqueria name was born.
The street names often have their origin in the history of the city itself. For example, the Puerta del Angel answers a XV century legend according to an angel guarding the city. We can still see a sculpture that references this protective figure in the Portal del Ángel. Porta Ferrisa also gets its name from an old door that was closing this road.
We are in the Jewish Quarter where we will discover, for example, a haunted house or the bridge where Santa Eulalia was locked, one of the patron saints of Barcelona. Precisely in memory of this young geese caregiver who suffered 13 shepherdess to defend Christianity; we can find today 13 of these animals in the courtyard of the Cathedral. Even thoughtBarcelona’s day is celebrated on September 24th in honor of Merce. And when it rains, they say it’s Santa Eulalia crying because nobody remembers her.
All these legends are documented in the work of Joan Amades Catalan, a folklorist, who collected all the stories, legends and myths that older people orally transmitted to their children and grandchildren. His work combines the oral culture of the Gothic and the city of Barcelona, the best way to know and understand the daily lives of our ancestors.