Raval Barcelona is the newest of the ‘old’ neighborhoods of Barcelona and became the slum of the city at the end of the 19th century. In the Middle Ages, Raval, at the edge of the city, provided space for monasteries, the university, and the hospital. The later dilapidated neighborhood was given a facelift in the late 1980s. With the encouragement of art projects by the municipality and the construction of two modern museums (MACBA & CCCB) in the mid-1990s and the arrival of trendy hotels, the district became more modern, hipper, and safer. Now Raval is a mix in the broadest sense of the word. It is a multicultural neighborhood with döner kebabs, Chinese massages, and telephone shops, interspersed with creative (vintage) shops and trendy restaurants. Creative people, skaters, healers, and homeless people determine the streetscape of Raval.
Architecture in Raval
Of the two art centers in Raval, the CCCB is by far the most interesting in terms of the exhibitions that are organized. New media such as film and photography are usually central. The MACBA is housed in an imposing building by the American architect Richard Meier. In recent years, this museum has focused mainly on artists from Catalan soil. The Palau Guëll is also just in Raval, in a side street of the Rambla. And of course, don’t forget the small streets in the entire district with sometimes special street art. The nearby former (poor) hospital, Antic hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, with its lovely courtyard garden is worth a visit. Gaudí spent his last days here after a collision with a tram. They mistook the best man for a tramp, which is why he was taken to the hospital for the poor instead of the eponymous brand new hospital in Eixample, designed by Domènech i Montaner at the time. Because of its multicultural character, you will find many Mexican and Indian restaurants. In addition, you will find a lot of vegan and vegetarian options in Raval.