What are Las Ramblas in Barcelona? To answer this question you should make a total of the historical events of Barcelona main street. Wanna know them?

Wanna really know what are Las Ramblas in Barcelona? The history of Barcelona main street is important to comprehend this city’s most important events. These are some of the most relevant episodes of Europe’s most popular street.

1. During the Roman Empire, Barcino (name given to Barcelona) was between two streams. This reason explains the origins of the name since rambla means “torrent or stream where the water drops when it rains”. As a consequence, shepherds, farmers and travelers used it as a passage area when it dried. That’s why it is also said that the word comes from English term ramble, which means to walk.

2. In the 15th century the construction of the Raval wall was carried out. As a result, the waters of the stream were diverted. Hence, that space was used as a leisure and sports area. It is here when La Rambla was born as a walk, specifically in 1440.

3. It soon became a crowded point of Barcelona. For instance, public executions were held at Pla de La Boqueria esplanade and that attracted the population. On the other hand, between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, the urban core of the city was so saturated that various religious orders (Capuchins, Jesuits, Carmelites) placed their convents at La Rambla. Several stately buildings were also built, such Palau de la Virreina (1778) or Palau Moja (1784). During that time, it became a busy spot to pray, trade, live, install orchards and, simply, walk up the Rambla, down the Rambla.

Palau Moja, the Catalan Heritage House.


4. On July 25, 1835, a series of events occurred that drastically changed the landscape of La Rambla. The country was in a civil war and there was a very bad concept of the Church. Popular classes and the bourgeoisie accused the clergy of monopolizing the (scarce) economic resources of the nation, poisoning the water and provoking the great 1834 cholera epidemic. That day a spontaneous demonstration was organized and it concluded in Dozens of convents and the murder of several priests and monks.

5. The expropriation of ecclesiastical property freed a lot of urban space. For this reason, they replaced the unruined convents for La Boqueria (Las Ramblas Market) Liceu (Barcelona Opera House) and Plaça Reial.

6. In 1859 they began to plant plátanos (kind of trees) to give shade to the walk. One year later, the Canaletas Fountain was unveiled. In the same century the sale of flowers began in La Rambla, giving the popular color that today brags.

Canaletes Fountain.


7. In 1888 the Universal Exhibition was held in Barcelona, ​​which led to the construction of the Monument to Columbus at the end of the Rambla Santa Mónica. Today, it is one of the most iconic viewpoints in the city.

8. Between the XIX century and the beginning of the XX  La Rambla became artists and geniuses’ favorite spot in Barcelona. Architect Antoni Gaudí, for example, designed the lampposts of the Plaça Reial (1879) or  Palau Güell (1890) and Salvador Dalí loved to show off his extravagant attitude here.

9. On August 17, 2017, a terrorist attack took place at Las Ramblas, causing great commotion. Next day, Joan Miró mosaic appeared full of messages of support for the victims, applauding the excellent attitude that neighbors and businessmen in the area showed that day. That day evidenced that Barcelona is a strong city that is not afraid of anything.

10. Today, it is estimated that more than 70 million people pass through La Rambla each year. That makes it the busiest street in Barcelona and, possibly, in Europe. For this  reason, is is strange hearing the question what are Las Ramblas in Barcelona? Because everyone knows it!