El Born is a historic neighbourhood in Barcelona that is located in the very heart of the city, in the Ciutat Vella district. Its streets, architecture and squares will give you an idea of what Barcelona was like during various periods of history.
At Musik Boutique Hotel we are in love with El Born, as it is the neighbourhood that has welcomed us with open arms. That’s why we want you to get to know it in the best way possible, to be able to discover the charm hidden in each of its streets. Keep reading if you want to know the best fun facts about El Born.
A journey back in time: Discover the fascinating historical facts about El Born
The first thing you should do before you start designing your itinerary in El Born is to choose a comfortable hotel nearby. Musik Boutique Hotel is located in the El Born neighbourhood, so it could be one of the best options for your Barcelona getaway.
In our facilities, you will be able to enjoy spacious rooms, as well as beautifully decorated common areas. Our hotel will allow you to relax in Barcelona with the luxury and comfort you need, always at the best price.
When you step foot out of your hotel in Barcelona, you will find yourself in the heart of El Born and you will only have to take a few steps to discover some of the most striking facts about El Born’s history:
- It is of medieval origin: El Born developed in the Middle Ages as a neighbourhood of merchants and craftsmen, and was one of the most prosperous areas of the city at that time.
- El Born Market: El Born Market was built in the 19th century as Barcelona’s first iron market. During the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714, the site witnessed the Guerra dels Segadors (Reapers’ War) against the Spanish Army and, in the 1970s, the remains of the ancient city that was destroyed at the time were discovered in the basement of the market. You can go inside and visit them!
- Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar: This majestic Gothic church was built in an astonishing record time of just 55 years (1329-1384), making it an impressive architectural achievement for the time.
- La Ribera: The full name of the neighbourhood is El Born-La Ribera and refers to the area near the church of Santa Maria del Mar, where the merchants and sailors who worked in the port used to live.
- Casa Xifré: At number 7, Passeig del Born, you will find Casa Xifré, a modernist building with colourful architectural details.
- Antic Teatre: El Born is full of old palaces, reminiscent of a time where the most wealthy lived in this neighborhood. One of them, built in 1650, was turned into a social club for builders and bricklayers in the 19th century with a beautiful theatre to entertain the people at the time. It is now turned into a café with a beautiful garden. Moreover, you can still watch some plays that hold the revolutionary spirit of the 19th century.
- Arc de Triomf: Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf at the entrance to the Parc de la Ciutadella was built in 1888 for the Universal Exhibition and was inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome.
Art and culture on every corner
One of the best things to do in Barcelona, especially if you’re staying in a hotel in the Born, is to discover the art and culture hidden in every corner of the neighbourhood. We’ll leave you with some Fun Facts about El Born related to the arts, so you can add them to your itinerary:
- Picasso Museum: This museum houses an extensive collection of over 4,000 works by the famous painter Pablo Picasso, including some of his earliest works from his youth.
- Palau de la Música Catalana: This palace is located on the border between the Born and La Ribera neighbourhoods. It is a modernist building, designed by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, and is an architectural jewel as well as an important cultural centre for concerts and musical events.
- Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB): This cultural centre is dedicated to the promotion of contemporary art and culture, with exhibitions, film screenings, talks and creative activities.
- Palau Dalmases: This was a baroque palace that used to be the residence of a noble family. Nowadays, it is a cultural space where flamenco shows and classical music concerts are held.
Gastronomic delights: Explore the unique flavours of El Born
Eating well is one of the best pleasures of travelling. Catalan gastronomy is based on fresh and good quality products to elaborate its traditional recipes. El Born is one of the best neighbourhoods to discover this food, in places like these:
- El Xampanyet: This is a classic tapas bar that is very famous in El Born and offers a wide variety of traditional Catalan tapas, cold meats, cheeses and, of course, xampanyet (catalan champagne). It’s a small and crowded place for which you can’t book, so it’s advisable to arrive early. You can find other options in our selection of the best bars in El Born.
- La Paradeta: If you are looking for freshly cooked seafood, La Paradeta is the perfect place for you. It’s a “fishmonger” style seafood restaurant, where you can select fresh products, and then they cook them for you according to your preferences.
- Elsa y Fred: This is a cosy restaurant in El Born, known for its Mediterranean cuisine and creative dishes. It offers a varied menu that includes vegetarian and vegan options.
- Casa Delfín: With over 100 years of history, Casa Delfín is a traditional restaurant offering authentic Catalan dishes. Its speciality is paella and rice dishes, so you can’t miss it.
- Cal Pep: One of the best rated restaurants in El Born that has been open since the early 90s and has since become many locals’ favorite. With a selection of delicious omeletes and some mouth-watering freshly-caught fish dishes, this is definitely a hidden gem you need to try.
- Chök – The Chocolate Kitchen: And finally, if you’re looking for something sweet, Chök could be your best choice. It’s a patisserie specialising in handmade doughnuts and chocolates that will leave you licking your fingers.
Hidden secrets and legends: Discover mysteries and curiosities
As El Born is a historic neighbourhood and one of the first in Barcelona, it is full of hidden mysteries and fascinating legends that will make your hair stand on end. We’ll explain some of them to you!
- During excavations in the Plaça Comercial del Born to build the Born Market, the remains of buried Roman soldiers were found. It is believed that these soldiers were part of the Roman garrison that defended the ancient city of Barcino.
- It is said that near the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, the ghost of a man dressed in medieval clothes appears. It is the spirit of a citizen who was murdered in that area many years ago.
- On Carrer Flassaders, you’ll find the Sombrerers quarter, where hats used to be made and sold in the past. Hatters were known to be very superstitious people who used to leave hats on the doors of houses to ward off evil spirits.
- Palau Dalmases is located on Carrer Montcada and has a legend about a festival held in the 18th century. It is said that the ghost of a lady dressed in white can be seen on full moon nights on the balconies of the palace.
What do you think of our fun facts about El Born? If you don’t want to waste time travelling, we recommend that you take a look at our Musik Boutique Hotel website and choose your ideal room.