Muralla Romana, Barcelona

4.2
#629 of 1,813 in Things to do in Barcelona
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4.4
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  • When you run across an amazing piece of history like the Roman Wall you are left speechless. While it is a small attraction, it is huge when you consider that it was built in the 4th century.  more »
  • Every corner of Barcelona is special for the history of the city, the ancient walls of Barcino the name put by the Romans were built in the 1st century BC. Then for twice the city and its walls are enlarged, today there are traces of them next to the cathedral and by the Via Laietana, an important city for the Romans by trade and today the city of the count an icon of tourism in Spain.
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  • Barcelona has preserved towers, gates and fragments of the city walls that the Romans erected in the 3rd century to ward off invaders. In the Gothic Quarter you can see the entrance to the Roman Decumanus Maximus and two impressive defensive towers, in addition to a section of Roman wall to which Gothic vaults were added in the Middle Ages. Why visit the Roman wall? The new wall or second wall of Barcino, to which the remains you can now see belonged, was built over the first one, which had been erected in the 1st century BC. The first incursions made by the Franks and the Alemanni in the middle of the 3rd century made it necessary to reinforce the walls, and further improvements to Barcino’s fortifications were implemented at the behest of Emperor Claudius II. At the turn of the 4th century, Barcelona erected a double wall that was up to 8 metres thick at some points and had 70 to 80 two-storey watch towers that were some 18 metres tall, the majority of which had a rectangular base while the ten located at the portals had a semi-circular base. These gateways had three openings: the wider central one was for carriages and the two smaller side doors were for pedestrians. The top floor of the towers had Roman arch windows to protect the settlement from potential invaders. This large number of towers in a relatively small perimeter wall, measuring 1,220 to 1,350 metres, led to Barcelona being known as ‘The Crowned City’. One of the places where you can contemplate the gates of the wall, which were flanked by towers at a distance of up to 10 metres, is Plaça Nova, next to Barcelona Cathedral. There you can see the Porta Praetoria, known as the Portal del Bisbe or Bishop’s Gate in the middle ages, which provided access to the city when it was a Roman colony known as "Iulia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino via the Decumanus Maximus". The height of the two cylindrical towers from the Roman wall that flank the gate was increased in the 12th century. For a unique view of the second Roman wall go to Plaça de Ramon Berenguer el Gran, which is the confluence of the Gothic, medieval and Roman cities, where there is a stretch of the wall from the early 4th century. This fragment is particularly interesting because you can see the superposition of medieval vaults over the Roman wall. In this square you can also find an equestrian statue by Josep Llimona of Ramon Berenguer III, known as the Great, who was the Count of Barcelona from 1096 to 1131. During the reign of Peter the Ceremonious, in the 14th century, a royal chapel dedicated to Saint Agatha was built in the Gothic style using the Roman wall as its foundations.
  • Very interesting place where 3 different cultures can be seeing in one wall.
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