Private Barcelona and the Guilds with Casa de la Seda
Discover the power of the guilds in Barcelona during the medieval and modern times. These trading associations were present in the most important building at the time: the Cathedral. The Guilds built their own headquarters in the main streets of Barcelona, evidence of that is the Casa de la Seda. You will also see the significant role the Jews played in the during that period with a walk into the Call (Jewish Quarter).
- Duration: Around 3 hours.
- Departure: Choose the time and we will meet you at your hotel or near the Gothic Quarter.
- Transport: This is a walking tour, no transport is needed.
- Guide: Friendly and knowledgeable guide in the language of your choice
- Price includes: Licensed guide and entrance to the Casa de la Seda
- Itinerary: Cathedral > Plaça Sant Felip Neri > Banys Nous > El Call Jewish Quarter > Synagogue > Plaça Sant Jaume > Plaça del Rei (King’s square) > Plaça Ramon Berenguer > Casa de la Seda
- Entrance fees to Casa de la Seda
What's not included
- This is a walking tour. Transport is not included
What to expect
Come to the core of the city, the Gothic Quarter, where it all started 2000 years ago. Enjoy the charming squares hidden away down ancient narrow streets. From the Romans to the present day, the inhabitants have left their imprint on these stones, and the story is there for the reading.
Catedral de Barcelona
The Gothic Cathedral watches the passing of time in a constantly moving and changing Barcelona. The building work started in 1298 and continued for over 600 years. Take note of the chapels and the 15th Century cloister guarded by geese. The Latin-cross floor plan and cross vault, as well as the magnificent stained-glass windows, fill the Barcelona Cathedral with light.
Strolling along the narrow streets in the Gothic Quarter, you suddenly stumble on a bright, open and welcoming space.
Plaça Sant Felip Neri: One of the city’s most beautiful squares framed by the baroque church Sant Felip Neri, and the façades of the houses of the shoe makers’ guild and the boiler makers’ guild (now a public school).
Plaça del Pi: Beautiful square with the Gothic church Santa Maria del Pi, with a 10m diameter rose window. Notice the sgraffito (patterns) on the façades of the houses.
El Call: This was the Jewish quarter until their expulsion in 1492 after which the Jewish traces fade. There are some traditions that link Catalan Jewish families as some converted to Christianity and remained in Catalonia. Persecution and betrayal continued for several generations however, and many were condemned by the Inquisition.
The Synagogue continues to be a meeting place where community affairs are discussed, a place to study, discuss the religious texts, learn Hebrew and about Judaism. The remains of the old synagogue are thought to be very old. In 212, the Roman emperor Carcalla gave Roman nationality to all foreigners in the empire so there were Roman Jews. A Roman inscription has been found here and it is thought to be the oldest synagogue in Europe.
Banys Nous (New Baths). The name comes from the public baths that the Jews built here during the 12th century and which lasted until 1834.
Plaça Sant Jaume. Historically, the city’s two major Roman roads, the cardo and the decumanus crossed here. This square is the centre of the city’s political activity with the City Hall facing the Palau de la Generalitat, the seat of the Autonomous Catalan Government.
Plaça del Rei (King’s Square): If you want to feel the medieval past of Barcelona this is the place to be, as it has a concentration of some of the oldest buildings in Barcelona: A 1555 lookout tower and 15th century chapel of Santa Àgata. And the 1362 Saló del Tinell, a hall used to receive ambassadors and hold banquets, where it is said that the Catholic Kings, Isabel and Ferran, received Columbus on his return from America.
Casa de la Seda – The Silk Makers House
La Casa de la Seda is still used as the headquarters of the 500 year old Silk Association. They built la Casa de la Seda 300 years ago and it is one of the best-well kept baroque buildings in Barcelona, with 4 metre high beautiful sgraffitto paterns. There is nothing like the unique noble floor, with the interior all beautifully decorated with silk lined walls.