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La Boqueria, the biggest market of Catalonia

Flamenco Barcelona

Saint Joseph Market (in Catalan, Mercat de Sant Josep) is best known as La Boqueria. It is a municipal market located in Las Ramblas of Barcelona. A part from being a place where you can buy any kind of fresh products it is also a tourist destination.

It has an area of 2583 m² with more than 300 stands that offer a great variety of local and exotic products both for particular buyers and for restaurateurs of the city. La Boqueria is the biggest market of Catalonia, the most varied one an d also the most visited by tourists.

The market was inaugurated in 1840 but its roots are outdoors, in front of the doors of the old city, in the terrace of El Pla de la Boqueria, where street-vendors and farmers from the towns and masias settled in to sell their products. All that was before the city went out of its firsts walls. This market was celebrated outside the walls of the city with the aim of saving the goods entry taxes of the city.

Before the market, in the same place, there was the Saint Joseph Convent. It was founded in 1586 by Los Carmelites (josepets in catalan) a religious cult. At the same time La Rambla gained importance as urban promenade in XVIII century, it was considered necessary to take the butcher's shop out of its tour and they were moved, still very close, to the interior, near the Saint Joseph Convent vegetable garden, which was burned down in 1835 during an anticlerical riot.

After the fire, the building was expropriated from Los Carmelitas, it was demolished and, on its place, a plaza surrounded by big columns was built. That plaza was the biggest of Barcelona. It was decided to temporary move the market to the interior of that plaza, but finally it became its definitive location. The roofing work started in Saint Joseph Day, in 1840.

At the beginning of XX century, the market was located between the houses and the trees, and it was divided into well differentiated sectors, depending of the kind of product they offered. Many merchants gave a flower as a present for the purchase of a product and here is the origin of the relation between the flower shops of La Rambla and La Boqueria.

The current metallic cover was inaugurated in 1914 and the last architectural modification was finished in 2000. Currently the city is preparing another one that will affect, above all, the Gardunya plaza.

Throughout the years, this market has become the most emblematic market of Barcelona. The collective of merchants, its situation and its structure, all of that make the place into an obligated visit for buyers and tourists.

Nowadays there be more and more establishments of the market managed by immigrants, where you can find specialties from Japan, Italy, Greece and Arabian countries.

Flamenco Barcelona
Flamenco Barcelona
Flamenco Barcelona


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