CATALÀ ENGLISH FRANÇAIS MAGYAR ITALIANO
association of best food and traditional markets of Europe

Barcelona

El Mercat de la Boqueria was founded in 1836 and is one of the markets that existed in Barcelona before the city annexed the small surrounding villages. In 1914, La Boqueria was eventually covered at its present site.

La Boqueria's exceptional location and distinct characteristics makes it stand out among the 45 markets in Barcelona's vast municipal market system. The nearby Ramblas brings a constant flow of citizens and tourists through La Boqueria's corridors. Consequently, there is a wide variety of foods and supplies in the market. Furthermore, the large number of immigrants in the adjacent areas of El Raval and Ciutat Vella have inspired stalls selling imported products from different countries, coexisting with the more traditional stalls. Likely the most emblematic marketplace in the city, La Boqueria is certainly a must for tourists.

Since 1993, the City Council, by means of the Institute of Municipal Markets, has promoted a modernisation policy which includes both the container and its contents. In other words, not only are the physical structures of the markets renovated, but the business policy is updated as well, in order to thoroughly adapt the markets for the future. Accordingly, opening hours have been extended and the markets are equipped with cashpoint machines, self-service shops, home delivery service, customer parking, online purchasing and other amenities. The markets feature a range of services to benefit the individual customer as well as the neighbourhood in general. This is complemented with a variety of activities designed to promote culture, health, sport and, of course, gastronomy.

La Boqueria also has an information and training centre which encompasses all areas of food and cooking. The Aula Gastronòmica is a meeting point for professionals and aficionados. It offers classes that combine theory and practice, given by chefs, pastry chefs, dieticians and other food specialists.
La Boqueria Market was honoured with the 2005 Market of the Year Award at the 6th International Public Markets Conference in Washington. The award, given by Congressman Earl Blumenauer, praises La Boqueria's contribution to Barcelona's social, economic and environmental development.


History

The Boqueria Market as we know it today has been through many phases. Where this market comes from is uncertain, but what we are sure of is that it was born as a traveling market along the Ramblas of Barcelona. La Rambla became important as a pedestrian boulevard, and the market couldn't have been better located, though it has been threatened many times.

In Catalonia, towns and cities were founded around markets, and therefore we find that La Boqueria originated as an open air market, in front of one of the gates of the old wall (Pla de la Boqueria). Here salesmen and fruit and vegetable vendors from nearby towns and farms gathered to sell their products.

Space inside the city walls was too scarce for a big market, so it was necessary to place it outside the walls. It seems that some time ago farmers sold their vegetables precisely at Pla de la Boqueria, near paseo de la Ronda, known as "huertos de Sant Antoni, Sant Pau and Sant Bertran".

In St. Joseph's day in 1840, the first stone of the market of La Boqueria was placed. In 1848, an enclosure was constructed for the fishmonger's shop behind the palace of the Virreina. The "Repeso" pavilion was also built, and would later become the office of Management and Veterinary Services. However, the new market was insufficient. In 1853 it became official when 14 uniformed florists paid for their tables. This is the origin of the florists of la Rambla.

In 1914 the market with the metal deck was inaugurated. From there it began to modernize and improve, not only with better sanitation, but aesthetically as well. Elements have been demolished several times. In the past, there were wooden shacks in Plaza Galdrich (of the farmers), where a gentleman with a typewriter typed up people's requests. Long lines formed. Today we offer these services at the information point.

Throughout the years La Boqueria has become the most celebrated market of the entire network. The structure, the location, and the vendors make it a must-see for all the tourists who visit our city. For the people of Barcelona, the market is entwined in our city's history, and the popular traditions and celebrations of our families. Most of La Boqueria's present salesmen are third or fourth generation vendors. They unite the traditions and legacy of the past with the vitality of the present.

An incredible variety awaits you at La Boqueria: fresh fish and seafood, salted fish, butcher stalls, offal, poultry, dairy and eggs, fruits and vegetables, herbs, baked goods, restaurants, frozen foods, specialties, charcuterie and farmer stands.
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Emporion
Av. Icària, 145-147
08005 Barcelona
Tel. 93 402 70 00