Situated in the neighborhood of Ciutat Vella, Barcelona’s historic district, is the El Raval. The place has undergone a sea change and seen transformation from being a crime hub to a popular tourist destination in Barcelona.
El Raval is one of the two historical neighborhoods that surround La Rambla and is home to around 50,000 people. Presently, it has a very diverse immigrant community comprising of Pakistanis and Indonesians, to Eastern Europeans. The dilapidated buildings in the neighborhood have been replaced by some lovely apartments which redefine luxury. With a designer touch and calm ambience, Apartment Raval is the place to be.
There are many fascinating places of interest in and around the bustling El Raval. Monuments, Churches, Museums and cultural centers, El Raval has it all. Some of the most important tourist destinations are:
Sant Pau del Camp: This is a church and former monastery in Barcelona, the origins of which are not known. Before 14th century, the location of the church was outside the city and derived its name from its rural location. This Romanesque monastery features lobular arcades supported by double columns, whose capitals are adorned by biblical and daily life scenes, animals, monsters and vegetable motifs.
Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art: Situated in the Plaça dels Àngels, in El Raval, The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. The architectural style of the building has strong references to Modernism. The southern elevation glazed of the large white building offers the views across the plaza, and allows for plenty of natural light for the interior galleries.
Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona: Also known as CCB, this is one of the most visited exhibition and arts centres in El Raval. Themed on the city and urban culture, the success of the center is based on the unique way it addresses issues with a motive of linking the academic world with creative processes and general citizens.
Barcelona Royal Shipyard: A former military building of Gothic architecture located at the Port Vell area of the Port of Barcelona, this shipyard now houses the Barcelona Maritime Museum. The shipyard’s restoration was completed in early 2013 but is being modernized and will be reopened in 2014.
Plaça de Catalunya: Meaning “Catalonia Square” in English, this center has few interesting sculptures representing Noucentisme, Neo-Classicism and different avantgarde movements. The mosaics that adorn the walls of the underground part of Plaça Catalunya have been designed by pupils of Escola Massana.
Sala Beckett: This theatre founded by the Teatro Fronterizo group, is an important feature in the Barcelona arts scene. An intimate venue, this theater showcases performances of thought-provoking plays and promotes creative expression through a number of seminars, workshops and classes on topics ranging from personal experience to modifying the classics.
Paperam: Located in the Raval neighborhood, a stone’s throw away from La Boqueria market, Paperam is a unique shop. The shop repairs antique books, sells journals covered with handcrafted leather and titled with gold stamping and also a variety of colourful papers.