The neighbourhood is named after the enclosures that were used for medieval tournaments such as jousting. Today’s Paseo del Born was once the site of this type of entertainment.
Because it was outside the Roman walls, El Born was known as Vilanova (new town) or Vilanova de la Mar (new town on the sea), to distinguish it from the other neighbourhoods that surrounded Barcino. The neighbourhood has some of the city’s most important sights, such as the Picasso Museum on Calle Montcada and Plaza de les Olles.
But the one place you really should not miss if you’re visiting this part of Barcelona is the Church of Santa Maria del Mar. It is one of the city’s most notable historical sights, both because of its age and its beautiful architecture. Construction began on the church in 1329 but was not completed until 1383. The two architects commissioned with building it were Berenguer de Montagut and Ramon Despuig, and they used stone from the nearby hill of Montjuïc for its impressive Gothic-style façade with a large rose window at the centre.
Another must-see is the old El Born market. Now a cultural centre, it offers an extensive range of activities, such as guided tours explaining how the residents of this neighbourhood lived in the 19th century, when the architect Josep Fontserè i Mestre built the market.
If you’re thinking of visiting this area, don’t forget that we have a public car park for you in El Born on Avenida Francesc Cambó, so that you can park your vehicle easily and at any time of the day or night.