The Lady of La Rambla

ilus_boq

 

The Boqueria market is a grand old lady dating back to the Middle Ages. Records go back as far as 1217 when la Rambla was a wall-lined stream. It was here that the King’s representative bestowed upon a citizen a plot of land for selling goat meat, called “boc” in Catalan: hence the name “Boqueria”.

The first merchants moved to the old convent of St. Josep nearly 200 years ago, creating what is now the “Boqueria Market”, “El Mercat de la Boqueria”. The first stone was laid on the St. Josep’s Day in 1840. The ceremony involved placing an ounce of gold beneath this stone together with some gold coins all of which symbolized the wealth which the new market would generate in the future.

In 1871 the market’s candles were replaced by gas lamps and some thirty years later electricity was installed.

Then, in 1914, the market’s open-air era came to an end when the “Maquinista Terrestre i Maritima” erected the fine metal roof we can still admire today. With a surface area of 13,631 square meters, The Boqueria is the largest market in Spain. For many years it has been the most visited edifice in Barcelona enjoying, as it does, the privilege of having the Rambla as its immense and multi-coloured entrance-hall.

Let yourself be seduced by The Boqueria and be transported through its aisles filled with delightful scents and flavours and through a colorful mosaic of exotic fruits. In this Mediterranean jewel set amongst endless displays of silvery fish, breathe in the fragrance of the strawberries as it vies with the pungent odours of the salted fish and of recently butchered bull meat.

As somebody once said, if unicorns existed this is where you would come to buy them.