Wandering the Gothic Quarter: Barcelona, Spain

By Cacinda Maloney

After Gaudi’s art show, I was wandering the narrow, cobblestone streets of the Gothic quarter, considered the center of the old city of Barcelona when I got lucky.  I came upon rustic-colored buildings with great texture, arches and window sills.

Rounding the corner, there was this fabulous, nameless church, with an incredibly beautiful, maroon red and wrought iron front door.

Nameless Church, Barcelona, Spain

People were going about their day at the little cafe right outside in the square, as if, in Barcelona, this would just be an everyday occurrence.  I guess to them it is.

I stood there for awhile, watching the little Spanish boy with the red-striped shirt playing in front of the grand doors near his parents.

Then another quirky dressed woman came along and sat by the door entrance.

Wandering the Gothic Quarter: Barcelona, Spain

The place was mesmerizing, it just had that glow, and I immediately knew this was one of those magical moments in travel.  I shot a few photographs and reluctantly moved on around the corner.  I was making my way to the spires that I could see jutting out from in between buildings.

Juttings of the Cathedral de la Seu

This is the old roman ruins area of town.  The juttings I could see were from the medieval basilica Cathedral de la Seu, which was built on top of ruins from the Roman Empire temples of 343 AD.  Little did I know, the magic would continue around a few more corners.  I could hear it, but wasn’t sure what it was.  It was coming from another courtyard square, the sounds of a violin that make you want to stop and listen, yet knowing you need to get closer to the sound.  This sound was a violin concerto by Vivaldi called The Four Seasons.  I was expecting one of those CD’s that you can buy on the streets for a concert that the church would be having later that evening, but what I got was so much more than that.

The amazingly talented street violinist

Wandering the Gothic Quarter: Barcelona, Spain

There he was.  Only one man, in his blue jean shorts, standing up against the amazing basilica door    . . . playing his heart out in a song.  The acoustics were amazing in this small little square.

I realized my life was going through seasons, seasons of life.  And I imagined he was going through a season too. Why was he here?  With such talent as this, playing his music on the streets of Barcelona in the midday sun?  Did he actually play for an orchestra every evening and he was just practicing?  Did he just love to entertain us and we were his muse?  Was he just trying to get by, needing money to pay his rent?  I could not for the life of me figure it out, how could one so talented be playing on the streets?  But then as the season “Winter” played,  peppered with its silvery pizzicato notes from the high strings, I knew I must sit still in silence and pay attention.  In that square that day, seasons of my life came to me, and as he played “Summer”, which evokes a thunderstorm in its final sound, the sounds told me that this is the path I am on, the sound of summer.

The suns of the Summer, with its many faces.

In case you are interested, here is a follow-up to this story: Ode to a Barcelona Violinist

Plus some other articles about Spain:

Barcelona, Spain: Sweet and Salty at La Boqueria and Beyond

Hotel Arts Barcelona: A Hotel Review




  1. Samuel Jeffery September 25, 2012 at 10:11 am

    These photos are great! I feel like I was right there. This is the kind of place I’d love to wander about.

    • admin September 27, 2012 at 12:20 am

      It was the highlight of my trip to Barcelona!

  2. […] or alone.  You don’t even need to speak Spanish.  If I can do it, so can you.  I explored Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter and then also Gaudi’s creations in Barcelona.  After a few days in Barcelona, you should take […]

  3. God’s Architect: Gaudi | Pointsandtravel.com September 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    […] Up next:  Wandering the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona, Spain This entry was posted in Spain and tagged Barcelona, Family travel, family trips, Gaudi, gingerbread house, Park Quell, romantic travel, Spain. Bookmark the permalink. ← September 18th: Happy Chile Independence Day! Wandering the Gothic Quarter: Barcelona, Spain → […]

  4. […] so many things to do and see here that you do not want to miss… Gaudi-God’s Architect, and Wandering the Gothic Quarter, as well as, The Boqueria, to name a few.  Also, catch a few TAPAS places for dinner each night to […]

  5. […] I have to figure that out on my own.  I mean, I love Rome, and Paris and Barcelona, but it is the things I find as I wander the streets that make my experience so surreal.  Just look at this post on Istanbul call Aristocrats,  I […]

  6. […] about or face that day.  I could meander thru the streets of Istanbul or San Miguel de Allende or Barcelona and not be noticed.  Introverts sort of like this thing about not being noticed.  I could soak the […]

  7. Matt from Saverocity April 21, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Better at night! Did you walk through the dark alleyways and find the hidden bars? My mum told me whatever I should do I should not walk the quarter at night, which was of course the first thing we did!

    Amazing little places hidden in buildings that look derelict. Top 10 of my favorite places in the world.


    • admin April 21, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      Only a little bit, but would love to go back and find the hidden bars! The maze of streets and hidden dark alleyways could be fun!

  8. […] you have ever been to Barcelona, then most like you have heard the name Guell and of course, by now, you know who the artist […]

  9. […] Wandering The Gothic Quarter: Barcelona, Spain […]

  10. Aiguablava August 16, 2015 at 2:11 am

    […] Exclusive Luxury Cava and Wine Tour in Spain Wandering The Gothic Quarter: Barcelona, Spain […]

  11. […] Wandering the Gothic Quarter […]

Comments are closed.