Friday, 15 February 2008

Boqueria Market

It's the biggest market of Europe and, probably of the whole Occidental world. La Boqueria's market, located in the emblematic Ramblas of the city, is an obliged visit for the tourists and has been converted in one of the symbols of Barcelona today.

The market was constructed with the current metal framework in the year 1914, but the first documents of the market's existence date form back to the 13th century. It's the most famous of the 41 markets that exist in Barcelona. It has a whole of 6.000 m2 where there are located more than 300 booth (of vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, specializations ...) that are the real grace of the market. It's importance takes root in offering a great assortment of fresh products and a great explosion of colours, people and movement that makes it unique in the world. There is a popular expression that says: if you don't find something in La Boqueria, it can't be found in any other place.

The popular name is La Boqueria but it's official name is Sant Josep's Market because the Sant Josep's convent that was burnt in 1835 was placed there. This fact was very important for the reconstruction and consolidation of the market. It's architecture is harmonious, but remains hidden under its iron construction; it is necessary to emphasize that the window and the medallion of the entry are of modernist style.

The market has suffered some architectural changes. In april of this year the works of reconstructions have been finished, which have liberated the squared porch and have supposed the recovery of the perimetrical column. The most important is that the market has wan in lighting and it has been opened to the street.

The services that La Boqueria offers have been extended with small places where we can eat and drink. There are 10 establishments of two different classes; the newsstand - bars to take a coffee, a refreshment or an appetizer, and small bar - restaurants to sit down in stools and to savour the economic menus or the most typical plates, without leaving the market. Between all these mini bars we find the Universal newsstand to take a recommendable menu of the day, the Pinotxo bar with the amiability of Juanito, the owner's bar and key personage in La Boquería throughout the years, which tells us the market has gained with it's reconstruction. We prune to take some tapa's (snack) in Quim's bar or eating a good chocolate with fritters in the Sant Josep's bar. At the end of the market, in the Garduña's place, we find a restaurant that takes the same name, reformed with the last works in the market. This restaurant offers Mediterranean and Catalan food to different prices, and the day's menu costs 8,25 euros.

We recommend to eat in the places that we have named above, but if in case of preferring to eat with carte, the Boqueria's market is surrounded by well-known restaurants where to choose plates of Mediterranean food. It's the case of the Turia restaurant,, in Petxina's street that offers renewed and varied plates, such as fish, seafood and an economic menu of 9,60 euros that is very good. We also outstand The Convent, in the Jerusalem street, specialist in Catalan gastronomy, and La Palmera restaurant that offers market food, located behind La Boqueria.

La Boqueria's market is located in the Ramblas number 101 and opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 8:30 p.m.

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