Plaça de Sant Jaume with the Palau de la Generalitat in the background

Plaça de Sant Jaume

La Rambla & Barri Gòtic

In the 2000 or so years since the Romans settled here, the area around this often-remodelled square, which started life as the forum, has been the focus of Barcelona’s civic life – and it's still the central staging area for Barcelona's traditional festivals. Facing each other across the square are the Palau de la Generalitat, seat of Catalonia’s regional government, on the north side and Barcelona's Ajuntament on the south.

Behind the Ajuntament rise awful town-hall offices built in the 1970s over Plaça de Sant Miquel.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby La Rambla & Barri Gòtic attractions

1. Ajuntament

0.02 MILES

Barcelona's town hall has been the seat of power for centuries. The Consell de Cent (the city’s ruling council) first sat here in the 14th century, but…

2. Palau de la Generalitat

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The early-15th-century Palau de la Generalitat opens through a monumental late-Renaissance facade with neoclassical leanings, designed by Pere Blai, but…

3. Domus de Sant Honorat

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These remains of a Roman domus (town house) and three small shops, unearthed in the mid-19th-century Casa Morell, lie close to the Roman forum, and the…

4. Temple d’August

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Opposite the southeast end of La Catedral, narrow Carrer del Paradís leads towards Plaça de Sant Jaume. Inside No 10, an intriguing building with Gothic…

5. Pont del Bisbe

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One of Barcelona's most-photographed pieces of architecture, this Gothic-style marble bridge links the Palau de la Generalitat with the Casa dels Canonges…

7. Palau Centelles

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A rare late-15th-century gem, the Palau Centelles is set round a fine Gothic-Renaissance courtyard adorned with later flourishes from the 18th and 19th…

8. Sinagoga Major

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At the heart of the ancient Jewish Call lie the remains of what may well be the city’s main medieval synagogue (though some historians cast doubt on the…