Barcelona tours: La Rambla street’s Boqueria Market

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Barcelona pictures: the boqueria market. Constant bustle at the main entrance to the Boqueria market, located on la Rambla street. Unknown delights await inside! Constant bustle at the main entrance to the Boqueria market, located on la Rambla street. Unknown delights await inside!

Barcelona pictures: the boqueria market. An eye-catching stall specializing in "Jamón Ibérico". Be sure to try some during your visit: you won't be sorry! An eye-catching stall specializing in "Jamón Ibérico". Be sure to try some during your visit: you won't be sorry!

Barcelona pictures: the boqueria market. Freshly squeezed and chilled juice tempt from a fruit stall. . Oranges, papaya and kiwi are in season. Freshly squeezed and chilled juice tempt from a fruit stall. Oranges, papaya and kiwi are in season.

Barcelona pictures: the boqueria market. A shopper takes advantage of some great deals on fresh tomatoes at the farmers’ market A shopper takes advantage of some great deals on fresh tomatoes at the farmers’ market

Barcelona pictures: the boqueria market. A pigeon leaves the shelter of one of the Boqueria market`s two arcades and its majestic columns. A pigeon leaves the shelter of one of the Boqueria market`s two arcades and its majestic columns.

Barcelona pictures: the boqueria market. This modernist work of iron and stained glass marks the main entrance to the  market.

Images and Text by Gaston Magrinat. Click on any image for a larger version.

Built on a site where an open-air market has existed since the 13th century, just off of la Rambla street, the world-famous Boqueria market is surely Barcelona’s greatest food market. From the fifteenth century this area saw the gradual building of the Raval district, lying west of Barcelona just outside the walls, between town and country. It was the logical place for the local farmers, with their harvests in tow, to meet and offer their produce to the city’s hungry residents. Even after the demolition of the old city wall in 1854-56 and the gradual incorporation of the area into Barcelona, the market did not move to the new edge of the city, but has stubbornly remained in what is now the heart of the Old City.

Today the Boqueria market is the largest, most competitive and most comprehensive of Barcelona’s food markets, offering the freshest produce, and its privileged location is an important meeting place. One could easily spend an entire afternoon strolling under its enormous iron roof amongst its varied and well-stocked stalls, especially during the fall harvests. This is where you will find strawberries long after they disappear elsewhere, the freshest seafood, tropical fruit, sausages and Iberian ham, countless cheeses, meats, dried fruits, nuts, sweets with hidden delights, bread and pastries, the freshest vegetables and just about anything that you might or might not be looking for.

The stalls are a visual and sensual feast in themselves. Fruit is displayed in a fantastic mix of flair and colour, with a visual appeal that makes it difficult to resist stopping for a ripe peach, some fresh juice or a bowl of fruit salad at each one. Rows of Iberian cured hams hang from stainless iron hooks alongside a huge assortment of sausages. The buzz of the crowd is punctuated by the shouts of vendors announcing the day’s special.

The crowd is a mix of fascinated visitors in search of a snack, and local shoppers buying the day’s ingredients. There are many places to stop for a snack, a beer or a cup of coffee. Dotted throughout the market are small, intimate bars, - just a few barstools and a counter - where each day’s menu offers the freshest of the fresh. Under the iron canopy of the Boqueria market there is something for everyone.

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Barcelona pictures: the boqueria market. Shoppers making their way down one of the Boqueria market's aisles with its many colorful and well stocked stalls. Shoppers making their way down one of the Boqueria market's aisles with its many colorful and well stocked stalls.

Barcelona pictures: the boqueria market. Fresh "merluza" ready to be turned into a mouth-watering meal. The variety of seafood is amazing. Fresh "merluza" ready to be turned into a mouth-watering meal. The variety of seafood is amazing.

Barcelona pictures: the boqueria market. For those with a sweet tooth there is a vast array to choose from. This stall is a vivid rainbow of sweet treats. For those with a sweet tooth there is a vast array to choose from. This stall is a vivid rainbow of sweet treats.

Barcelona pictures: the boqueria market. The Boqueria market has some of the best places to satisfy your hunger. All ingredients are as fresh as the morning sun. The Boqueria market has some of the best places to satisfy your hunger. All ingredients are as fresh as the morning sun.

Barcelona pictures: the boqueria market. The outline of the iron roof of the Boqueria market against the backdrop of the autumn sky. The outline of the iron roof of the Boqueria market against the backdrop of the autumn sky.