LAS RAMBLAS – the tale behind the curtain

Although Las Ramblas is one of the most well-known and visited street around the world and I´ve passed by there a lot of times, one day I realized that I am …

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Although Las Ramblas is one of the most well-known and visited street around the world and I´ve passed by there a lot of times, one day I realized that I am not familiar with its history and what it really stands for. I thought you may be interested in this also, so I decided to do a little bit of research and share with you the interesting information I found.

 

This amazing street that lies between Plaça Catalunya and The Statue of Columbus is packed with stalls selling from flowers to newspapers or sweets. Bounded by trees, restaurants and hotels, Las Ramblas is the meeting place for street artists (dance crews, painters, actors) that create the magnificent ambient which every tourist remembers.

The thing I find really interesting about this famous place is that it is actually made up by five sections, each one having its own story.

  • Rambla Canaletes, is named after the fountain which can be found there; legend says that whoever drinks water from this fountain will keep coming back to Barcelona.
  • Rambla dels Estudis, comes from Estudi General, which refers to the University situated here in the 16th century; This part of Las Ramblas is also known as Rambla dels Ocells (Avenue of the birds) because it was the place of a bird market.
  • Rambla de Sant Josep, is also named Rambla dels Flors because here used to be the only place where flowers were sold in the 19th century.
  • Rambla dels Caputxins, also called Rambla del Centre is the place where people used to meet for a quick chat and stroll.
  • Rambla de Santa Monica, which received its name because it was situated in front of  the old Principal Theatre.

In the 1990’s a wooden walkway with the goal of facilitating the way to the sea was built. The jetty was named Rambla del Mar and now it offers to the inhabitants of Barcelona and all the tourists the possibility to enjoy the view of the Mediterranean Sea first-hand.

Many of us may also ask ourselves where did this famous pedestrian-friendly boulevard get its name of ¨Las Ramblas¨. Well, the name has its origin from the Roman and early Medieval times when this street was a gutter fed by storms. Its stream unfolded from Collserola to the medieval walls of the city. Back then, Barcelona was under Arabic abolishment and they are the ones who named this animated artery of the city, ¨Las Ramblas¨ meaning ¨dry stream¨.

 

A friend of mine once told me that it´s not the place, but the people you remember. I think ¨Las Ramblas¨ embodies that. The first thought you´ll recall about it will be the emotions and feelings you´ve experienced here. I also believe that these emotions are created by traditions which have their roots in the history. So, there you have it…how it all began. Enjoy!

 

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