El Born Centre de Cultura i Memòria (or El Born Centre for Culture and Memory in English) is a unique and exceptional place that brings together three centuries of our history. Below the cast-iron structure of the iconic 19th century marketplace lies the Barcelona of 1700, the prosperous city that suffered the siege of 1714 and that put up an epic and heroic resistance before Catalonia’s national liberties were eventually lost to the Spanish King Philip V, yet to be restored three centuries later.
The centre offers exhibitions as well as a short guided tour by the preserved remains recently unearthed of this portion of La Ribera neighbourhood which was forcibly demolished to make way for the construction of the Ciutadella military structure as ordered by the occupying forces of the Spanish king. The Ciutadella became the largest fortress in Europe at the time and was used to subdue and imprison Barcelonians for decades to come. It was finally demolished in the late 19th century and now a wonderful park, the semi-devolved Catalan Parliament (visits in English can be arranged) and the Zoo among other occupy this part of the city.
The remains, located in the basement, can also be seen from the main floor at your own pace (free) and signs are posted in English explaining the importance of this event as well as anecdotes of the Barcelona of the 1700s. However, if you have the time, take the guide tour… it’s worthwhile!
El Born CCM -official site
Video: © Tomasz Sternak