Are you one of those people who questions the origin of everything? Today we explain why La Rambla, Barcelona main street is called like that.

If you want to know the first time someone referred to La Rambla, Barcelona most popular street, you have to go back a few centuries ago, specifically until the Middle Ages. The street did not acquire the shape we know it until the fifteenth century, when the third city wall was built. Until then, it had only been a dirty stream filled of the the water that fell from the Collserola mountain to the sea.

Rambla is the Spanish translation of the English word ravine, a very deep narrow valley with steep sides according to Collings Dictionary. The origin of the Spanish belongs to Arabs, who stayed there from the year 711 to 1492. We explain this because when Spanish king Jaume I re-conquered Valencia in the thirteenth century, the Arab word ramla was incorporated into the speech of the Catalans.

rambla de santa mónica.
La Rambla in Barcelona.


Two centuries later, during the reign of Peter the Ceremonious, what it is known as El Raval was built. The aim was making the most of the course of the stream that went from the Canaletas Tower to the Fleas Tower, where today the Columbus Monument stands.

From La Rambla to Les Rambles

From that moment began to rise several convents (especially in the Raval area) and the street began to fill with life. With this detour of the stream,  the different sections of La Rambla began to form. That is, Canaletas, Estudios, San Jose, Capuchinos, Santa Monica. An so Las Ramblas came.

Plaza Real in Barcelona was previously occupied by a convent.


It did not acquire the current appearance until the 1835  burning of convents and the confiscation of Mendizábal a year later. In the space left by these religious buildings, Plaza Real, La Boquería (Barcelona’s main market) and Liceu were built. The Monument to Columbus would arrive with the 1888 Universal Exhibition and the Miró Mosaic in 1976.