Built as a neighborhood indoor market in 1876, this iron and glass structure was repurposed as the El Born Cultural and Memorial Centre (El Born Centre de Cultura i Memòria) to showcase archeological remains of Ciutat del Born that were buried after the siege of 1714. The center also hosts art exhibits and cultural events commemorating local and national history.
This free attraction ranks among the most important architectural landmarks in El Born, but it’s often overlooked by visitors. Raised walkways within the center let guests walk above the excavations, and informational signage in English offers insight into the displays. The center is also home to an excellent bookstore and Catalonian tapas restaurant. Those with an interest in architecture can explore the cultural center, along with other distinctive sights, on an architectural walking tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- El Born Cultural and Memorial Centre is a must-visit for history and architecture buffs, as well as budget travelers.
- The space itself is free to enter, but some special exhibitions charge a separate admission fee.
- The cultural center is wheelchair accessible, though the archeological site itself is not.
How to Get There
El Born Cultural and Memorial Centre is located in La Ribera within easy walking distance of almost anywhere in the Old City. To get there via public transportation, take the Barcelona Metro (Line 4) to Barceloneta Station.
When to Get There
The cultural center is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 8pm. The center makes a pleasant escape from the summer afternoon heat. Check the calendar of events before you visit to see what special programming might be scheduled.
Architecture of El Born Market
When El Born Market was built in 1876, it was the first example of cast-iron architecture in the city. Designed in 1871 by Catalan architect Josep Fontserè, the building was part of a larger civic project to renovate Barcelona’s markets. Other cast-iron markets followed, most notably St. Antoni in 1882 and Barceloneta in 1884.