Beginning our walk in the Plaga Catalunya down Les Rambles towards the sea. First, on the right hand, we come to the Font de Canaletas. The legend says that “whosoever drinks from the fountain of Caneletas will always live in Barcelona”.
Further down, the first important building is the Academia de les Ciencies and later we find the Baroque-style church of Betlem, constructed between 1681 and 1729.
Opposite this is Palau Moya, better known as Patau de Comillas, built in 1771 by Cayetano Luis de Copons. General Duchenesne who ordered the trees of the Rambles to be planted, lived here during the Napoleonic occupation.
Just where the Ramble de les Flors begins we find the Palau de la Virreina, begun in 1772 and finished in 1784. Its promoter was Felip Manuel Amat I Junyent, viceroy of Peru for more than fifteen years. At present this palace is used for different artistic activities, exhibitions of paintings, photographs, sculptures, and others, and is the home of the Decorative Arts Museum.
At the end of the Ramble de les Flors, is the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the remains of which wait patiently for reconstruction after the last fire in 1994. This magnificent theater was finished for the first time in 1848., a project of Miquel Garriga I Roca, was destroyed by a fire and rebuilt in 1862., this time under the instructions of Oriol Mestres and decorated with paintings by Marti Alsina, Mestres, Casas, and Tigalt. For many years, this theater has been a symbol of Barcelona’s musical tradition and some of the most famous Opera singers in the World have stood upon its stage.
We must move away from the Ramblas a little to see the Hospital de la Santa Creu which is at present used by public institutions such as the Escola Massa-na d” Arts, Biblioteca de Catalunya and Conservatori Municipal d’ Arts Suntuaries. The inside may be seen almost three hundred incunabula and more than two thousand manuscripts of great historic and literary value.
Continuing along Sant Pau street, we come to the Roman church of Sant Pau del Camp, built at the beginning of the XII century, in the form of a Greek cross, with barrel vault and dome from the same period. The XII century cloisters are admirable and the XIV century sectoral house, originally the old chapter house.
On the other side of the Rambles, we find one of Barcelona’s most beautiful squares. The Placa Reial in Neoclassic style, work of the architect Daniel Molina. The square surrounded by porticos is a harmonic reminder of the romantic era. A central fountain is surrounded by elegant street lamps designed by the genius, Gaudi.
Just in front of the Placa Reial in Conde de Asalto street, we find a splendid example of the work of the architect Gaudi, the Palau del Compte de Guell, one of the most fantastic creations by this famous Catalan architect. At present, it is the Museu Historic del Teatre.
Continuing down the Rambles we come to the Placa del Teatre with a monument dedicated to Frederic Soler, better known as Serafi Pitarra, a great promoter of Catalan theater. Several of his famous literary works are conserved.
A little further down we find the Palau Marc, built-in 1776, for a distinguished old family from Reus, this palace has recently been remodeled.