There’s no better way to discover a city, its customs and its people, than by visiting its markets. Walking through them offers us an opportunity to appreciate new colours and aromas, to discover new products, new culinary styles, new customs and new peoples. Barcelona has a wonderful network of markets that offer you a unique way to discover the city. To begin with, we recommend five markets that are required viewing for all fans of Modernism.
We will start with the first market built outside the ancient walls of Barcelona. Currently under renovation, the Mercat de Sant Antoni forms part of the city’s historical and artistic heritage. Designed by Ildefons Cerdà, the architect responsible for the Eixample neighbourhood, it was, and still is, the backbone of commercial life in the city.
We continue by visiting the Gràcia neighbourhood and its Mercat de la Llibertat. Founded in 1888, the building is clearly influenced by Gaudí. Francesc Berenguer, the architect responsible for the building’s decoration, was a friend and admirer of Antoni Gaudí, the icon of Catalan Modernism. With an impressive coat of arms on the facade and a finish of black and red glass, this market is a jewel of the modernist movement.
Our route now takes us to one of the oldest markets in the city, the Mercat de Galvany, located in the neighbourhood of Sant Gervasi. The facade is considered one of the city’s artistic monuments. The modernist details on the four facades are particularly noteworthy, and can also be seen on the tops of pillars and columns in the interior.
We continue with the Mercat de Sarrià. Inaugurated in 1911, its impressive glass windows, formed of twenty-two pieces, and its substantial decorative pillars are not to be missed. Renovated in 2007, the market seamlessly blends the traditional with the contemporary.
To complete our modernist route around the markets of Barcelona, there is the Mercat de Sants. This brickwork building, inaugurated in 1939, is the youngest market on our visit. The main facade has three distinct sections, each of which boasts decorative pillars, and in the middle there is a mosaic representing the city’s original coat of arms.
Five markets to discover catalan modernism from a unique perspective, while not for one moment forgetting the products each of these markets has to offer. An original way to discover the city, its history and its customs.