18th century archaeological site and public cultural facility within the structure of a former market hall.
Opened in 1876, huge this cast-iron and glass building was Barcelona’s first covered market, and became one of the city’s most iconic buildings. Up until 1921 it was a retail market, after which it became a fruit and vegetable market until its closure in 1971. At risk of being demolished, the local community protested, and it was eventually agreed that it would be converted into a library.
However, the builders contracted for this job had an enormous surprise when they discovered archaeological remains from the 18th century underneath the former market’s floor. Instead of a library, El Born Market is now a municipal cultural facility, and is considered a prime urban archaeological site due to the exceptional level of preservation and knowledge about this former society.
You can wander freely along the walkways and look down on the archaeological remains, taking advantage of the 21 information panels that explain the site’s history. For a more in-depth experience, it is possible to pay to enter the archaeological site. The permanent exhibition Barcelona 1700. From its stones to its people recreates a very accurate image of this former community, and explains the events which led to its defeat. There are also often temporary exhibitions on display here.
El Born Centre of Culture and Memory
Plaça Comercial, 12, 08003 Barcelona
Sundays and public holidays 10.00-20.00
Closed on Mondays