The districts of Sant Pere and La Ribera

An event on our social program, our photowalking tour in October took us into the districts directly to the south of IH Barcelona -- Sant Pere and La Ribera. Less touristy than the Barrio Gótico, and with an equally fascinating historical past, the district is one of Barcelona's most interesting to stroll around...

  • Entrada -- the sign indicated which direction you could enter the street with your horse and cart; to enter the Ribera district is to go back in time; Photo: Tom.

  • We entered the district via the quiet Passatge de Sert, a stone's throw from IH; Photo: Tom.

  • First stop, the medieval church of Sant Pere, with Saint Peter holding the Keys to Heaven there in the stone carving above the front door; Photo: Hiroshi.

  • One of the characteristics of the district, the squares built around its wells; Photo: Constanze.

  • Detail of the fountain in Plaça Marquilles; Photo: Alberto.

  • Sitting on a terrace in the sunshine in a quiet square -- one of the many delights of the district; Photo: Tom.

  • An antique shop on Basses de Sant Pere; Photo: Tom.

  • With its almost total lack of traffic, La Ribera is a wonderful district for a leisurely cycle ride -- but photowalking is really something you've got to do on foot; Photo: Tom.

  • Photowalking is for everyone -- you don't HAVE to have super professional equipment... ; Photo: Tom.

  • ... though if you do have the right camera equipment the Ribera is the kind of district where you're going to get shots like this superb one of the Carrer Vigatans; Photo: Alberto.

  • Photowalking is largely about looking about you and truly seeing; Constanze looked up and saw medieval roofs; Photo: Constanze.

  • But if you've come with your compact, that's fine -- you're welcome too; Photo: Alberto.

  • Or if you're using the camera on your mobile phone, that's fine too -- photowalking is about sharing an experience, not about competing to see who gets the best shots; Photo: Alberto.

  • The details are one of the fascinating things you'll see in the district -- these on the Plaça de Marquilles (named after a distinguished Catalan family in the Middle Ages); Photo: Alberto.

  • Doorknocker on the Carrer de la Carassa; Photo: Tom.

  • And, besides the details, the streets themselves are lovely and quiet too; Photo: Tom.

  • You'll probably want to come back and walk the area again -- this one was taken early the morning after our walk; Photo: Tom.

  • Many of the streets and squares of La Ribera carry the names of trades dating back to the Middle Ages: here, we're in the Plaça de la Llana -- where the wool workers and traders were to be found; Photo: Tom.

  • Detail, Plaça de la Llana; Photo: Tom.

  • Though the medieval trades have largely gone, the district is one of inviting little shops; Photo: Alberto.

  • Some -- but by no means all -- of the shops are there to cater for the tourists; Photo: Hiroshi.

  • Lamp and tailor's dummy in a shop window; Photo: Alberto.

  • A lamp in a shop that caught Constanze's eye; Photo: Constanze.

  • One of the problems of the district is graffiti: shopkeepers have taken to employing graffiti artists to do a proper job on their shutters; Photo: Alberto.

  • Another shop shutter, duly decorated; Photo: Alberto.

  • We've got as far the Mercat del Born (modelled on the original design of Les Halles), currently closed so that the medieval ruins found below it can be properly excavated and restored; Photo: Constanze.

  • When evening comes, the lights come on and the Born becomes one of the centres of Barcelona nightlife; Photo: Constanze.

  • Our walk has had us circling round the 14th-century church of Santa María del Mar, which we've glimpsed from all four sides; Photo: Constanze.

  • A tile on a wall on Agullers (the Agullers made hooks for fishing, Barcelona once having been a fishing port); Photo: Tom.

  • A corner, an arch, a window -- there are glimpses throughout the district of a medieval past; Photo: Tom.

  • Ep! Not all the traders have gone from the district...; Photo: Tom.

  • It's a district to stroll around and be entertained by musicians; Photo: Tom.

  • It's not hard to imagine people being similarly entertained in the same squares back over the centuries; Photo: Constanze.

  • An impromptu concert outside Santa Maria; Photo: Alberto.

  • Our destination: Santa María del Mar; Photo: Alberto.

  • Salida: Exit that way -- if you've come by horse and cart, that is; to leave the district is to want to come back; Photo: Tom.

Images by Alberto Vílchez, Constanze Wutke, Hiroshi Konoura and Tom Walton.

No, sorry, you do not have permission to copy them and use them on other websites.

Further information

See our Barcelona blog for further details on this and our previous trips. Click here if you like to leave comments.

Other Barcelona photowalking trips

Barcelona's amazing Modernista houses

Squares of the Barrio Gótico

The districts of Sant Pere and La Ribera

Lo pegado y pintado en las paredes del Gótico: Graffiti in Barcelona


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