El Raval

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El gat del Raval (The Raval cat), by Botero
Plaça dels Àngels, with the MACBA main building in the background.

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.

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 all South America, Pakistanis and Filipinos, 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.


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.[2]

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. June 30, 2017. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  2. ^ "Keith Haring's Mural: Todos Juntos Podemos Parar el SIDA". Barcelona Lowdown. November 4, 2018. Retrieved 2021-03-10.

External links[edit]

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