One of Barcelona’s oldest treasures also happens to be one of its most hidden. The Temple of Augustus and its four Roman columns stand hidden within the medieval walls surrounding the city’s palm tree-filled Plaça Reial. It is there that they have stood for over 2,000 years, concealed for much of that time until their discovery in the 19th century, and later restoration.
Constructed in the 1st century BC, these 9-meter-tall columns once formed part of the larger Temple of Augustus, which was dedicated to the worship of its namesake Emperor Augustus. The now enclosed and wall-surrounded columns were located on the site of what used to be the Roman colony of Barcino, and nowadays makes up Barcelona’s Gothic quarter. Free and quick to visit, it’s a must-see while in this unmissable part of town.
You most definitely won’t see the columns while wandering about, so head to the southeastern corner of Plaça Reial, from where you can access the innards of the city block in which the columns are housed (or considering joining a walking tour so that you don’t miss it). Note that opening hours are especially limited on Monday.