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El Raval

Coordinates: 41°22′47″N 2°10′5″E / 41.37972°N 2.16806°E / 41.37972; 2.16806
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

El Raval (Catalan pronunciation: [əl rəˈβal]) is a neighborhood in the Ciutat Vella district of Barcelona, the capital city of Catalonia. The neighborhood, especially the part closest to the old port, was formerly (informally) known as Barri Xinès or Barrio Chino, meaning "Chinatown".[1] El Raval is one of the two historical neighborhoods that border La Rambla, the other being the Barri Gòtic; it contains some 50,000 people.

Carrer del Carme.
El gato del Raval (The Raval cat), by Botero
Carrer de l'Hospital.
Sant Pau del Camp church.
Plaça dels Àngels, with the MACBA main building in the background.

An area historically infamous for its nightlife and cabarets, as well as prostitution and crime, El Raval has changed significantly in recent years and due to its central location has become a minor attraction of Barcelona. It currently has a very diverse immigrant community (47.4% of its population was born abroad, ranging from Filipinos, South Americans, and Pakistanis, to a more recent Eastern European community, especially from Romania). It is home to many bars, restaurants, and night spots.


The northern border of the neighborhood is marked by Plaça Catalunya and Plaça Universitat, and the street which connects them, Carrer de Pelai. It ends in the east with La Rambla, and in the west and south, the neighborhood is delimited by Ronda Sant Antoni, Ronda Sant Pau and Avinguda del Paral·lel.


El Raval is one of Barcelona's most dangerous neighborhoods, with frequent robberies. There is substantial police concern about drug crime and fighting.[2] The police have been struggling to control the use and sale of heroin in the neighborhood where it has taken a foothold among marginalized residents. 40% of the residents of the Raval live at risk of social exclusion.[3]


There are a few historical monuments such as the Monastery of Sant Pau del Camp, as well as newer additions such as the Rambla del Raval, and the MACBA (the Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona) or the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. Near the museum is the mural Todos Juntos Podemos Parar el SIDA, originally created by American artist Keith Haring in 1989.[4]

In the southern part of the neighborhood an old wall and gate of the medieval city called Portal de Santa Madrona still exists as part of the Maritime Museum. The Raval is also known for its large statue of a cat by Fernando Botero, located on the Rambla del Raval. The city's most famous market, La Boqueria, is also situated in the Raval.

In the eastern part of the neighborhood, Antoni Gaudí's Palau Güell is located on the Carrer Nou de la Rambla.


Barcelona Metro[edit]

Cultural depictions[edit]

People from Raval[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "How Chinatown Became Barcelona's Coolest Area". Discovery. 30 June 2017. Archived from the original on 28 December 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  2. ^ Lizanda Herrera, Adrián (18 October 2018). "El Raval: Welcome to Barcelona's most dangerous neighbourhood". The Local. Archived from the original on 13 November 2021. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  3. ^ "El crimen de Mohammed, una venganza entre ladrones en el Raval". www.metropoliabierta.com (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 15 October 2022. Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  4. ^ "Keith Haring's Mural: Todos Juntos Podemos Parar el SIDA". Barcelona Lowdown. 4 November 2018. Archived from the original on 3 April 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2021.

External links[edit]

41°22′47″N 2°10′5″E / 41.37972°N 2.16806°E / 41.37972; 2.16806