The Mercat del Born, located in the heart of Barcelona’s Born district, is a little-known spot for tourists. Yet it is a cultural site brimming with history that is well worth a visit!
First, an ordinary market…
The Born covered market, designed by the architect Josep Fontserè, was inaugurated in 1876. It was one of the first iron buildings in Barcelona. For 95 years, the Mercat del Born fulfilled the function for which it was built: It became an emblematic location for fruit and vegetable wholesaling in Barcelona.
In 1971, the market closed its doors and was left derelict for many years. Initially, it was to be demolished, but several disapproving Barcelonans allowed the building to be preserved.
…Now an archaeological site
In 2002, a remarkably well-preserved medieval and modern city was discovered in the basement of the Mercat del Born while work was being carried out to convert the old market into a library. This city corresponds to the old quarter of la Ribera, which was destroyed as a result of the War of Succession in 1714.
Today, you can visit the market, which has been transformed into a museum and cultural center providing information on the Spanish War of Succession.
Easily accessible by bike, the Mercat del Born is an essential stop on our Beach Bike Tour. Book one of our Bike Tours, and your guide will be happy to tell you more about this and other must-see places in Barcelona.