El Raval, also known as China Town, is a district in Barcelona with narrow streets and very multicultural. It has been the project for regeneration and empty buildings were transformed into cultural and artistic centres.
There is a wide variety of activities to spend your free time: restaurants, bars, workshops of artists etc. There are also a lot of fashion shops, artisans and artists that offer high-quality goods.
We start our route in Raval on the “Plaça dels Angels”, where we find 2 big cultural centres: the MACBA and the CCCB, in the “Casa de la Caridad”.
The MACBA, Museum of Contemporanean art of Catalunia, is the work of the architect Richard Meier. It is one of the creations that has led to the urban transformation of the district into a cultural centre.
The museum is one of the most important buildings on the “Plaça dels Angels”, together with the ancient “Convent del Angels”, a temple constructed during the 16th century, in gothic style and with a simple facade and a portal in renaissance style. Nowadays, it is used as theatre, exposition space and concert hall, forming thus another cultural space in the district.
One of the streets that arrive at the “Plaça dels Angels” is the street “Joaquim Costa”, where we find a variety of bars of different types. When we follow this street until we arrive at the Ramblas, we find the “Eglésia de Betlem”, a barroc church of the 16th century.
Continuing on this street, we find the church “Eglésia de Sant Augusti”, in the street Hospital, a barroc church of the 16th century with a very luminous and spaceful interior.
In the same street Hospital, we find the hospital “Hospital de la Santa Creu”, constructed with the aim to bring together the different hospitals in the city. Today, it is a complex of buildings and a cultural reference, as we find there the Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya, the school Escuela Massana, the institute Estudios Catalanes and the public libraries of Santa Pau and Santa Creu.
A little bit further, we find the Rambla del Raval, where a lot of salesmen come together on public holidays to transform this street into a little market.
Before getting to the end of the Rambla del Raval, we find the sculpture of El Gat. This big statue of a cat is the work of Fernando Botera, a Columbian painter and sculptor.