The oldest and most famous food market in Barcelona located in Raval off las Ramblas. Market is surrounded by small tapas bars and restaurants.
Updated: Mar 7, 2023by: Barcelona Travel HacksViews: 1k
About La Boquería Sant Josep Food Market
The famous La Boquería food market can be found about half way up Las Ramblas boulevard with La Boquería referring to the wrought iron gates on the Las Ramblas entrance. The formal name for the market being Mercat de Sant Josep.
Sant Josep food Market (La Boquería) is a local community food market that servers EL raval neighbourhood, The restaurants in Las Ramblas and the Gothic quarter neighbourhood and is a bustle of people looking for the best fresh fruit, vegertables, fish and meat.
La Boqueria is the oldest food market in Barcelona.
1217: documents dating from 1217 show that there was an open-air market in pla de La Boquería consisting of temporary stalls set up by local farmers from the surrounding villages.
1777: the ancient Roman Wall on Las ramblas on the side of Raval was demolished and the market stalls were moved to Rambla de Sant Josep, between the church of Bethlehem and Pla de La Boquería.
1820: people began to call out for the transformation of the Carmelite Convent of St. Joseph into a market.
1827: an edict issued by the Marquis de Campo Sagrado, Captain General of Catalonia regulated the sale of food on las ramblas establishing the new market of Sant Josep.
1835: following the riots that took place on the Feast Day of St. James, the convent was destroyed by fire.
1836: 28th March, after the demolition work, the traders on the Rambla moved to this site.
The city council decided to use the free space created after the demolition of the convent to build a square with arcades, using the same design as Plaça Reial, which was to be named Plaça del Treball. The work commenced, based on the design of Francesc Daniel Molina i Casamajó, but by 1840, the square was still not completed.
1840 19 March, the laying of the foundation stone of the market, built in accordance with the design of the architect Josep Mas i Vila. Based on the design of the square, the central area was reserved for the stalls and the fish stalls were installed in a separate area, Plaça de Sant Galdric. The fish stalls were not transferred to the central part of the market until 1911.
1869: the square became too small and adjacent areas were annexed to it.
1888: the plot occupied by the former Convent of St. John of Jerusalem, demolished in 1888 to make way for what is now Plaça de la Gardunya.
1871: lighting in the form of gas lamps were installed.
1913: the modernist arches at the Rambla entrance and in 1914 the metal roof we added. Both were designed by architect Antoni Falguera i Sivilla.
1985: the market was remodelled and the loading area and car park were built. The design proposed setting back the market to create some free space on the side of the Rambla, and the elimination of Placa de la Gardunya but this was rejected.
1998 to 2001: the stall area was remodelled, based on the design of the architects Lluís Clotet i Ballús and Ignacio Paricio, who aimed to portray the market not as an enclosed building, but as a covered, arcaded square. To that end, the Ionic columns were restored and the perimeter connecting the roof to the arcades was demolished, to permit the entry of natural light.
2010 to 2013: an underground car par and logistics area, to permit the warehousing space to be tripled and free up an area for handling waste was constructed. Also, the Modernist arch at the Rambla entrance was also restored.
2015: the rear façade was inaugurated including the landscaping project in Plaça de la Gardunya.
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Visiting La Boquería Sant Josep Food Market
Around the edges of La Boquería are many small restaurants specialising in tapas.
Fish is a big part of the Mediterranean Diet so La Boquería has plenty of fresh fish stalls as well as meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans. It is possible to find pretty much anything food wise here.
In the evening the Square that the market is in is gated and closed to prevent some of the nocturnal trades of Las Ramblas from using the space for other activities.