Last month we witnessed the reopening of one of the biggest and more emblematic marketplaces in Barcelona – Mercat Sant Antoni.
The original project was built between 1879 and 1882 by the architect Antoni Roviras I Trias and eventually closed in order to be reformed in 2009. Nine years and 80 million Euros later the new Sant Antoni market opened to public and can serve again the neighbours and visitors of this part of the Catalan capital.
The idea and goal of this important reform was to make the Sant Antoni market a modern and accessible space. However most changes respect the historical aspect an value of this emblematic space for the city.
In total we can find today 235 stands divided in 5 levels and spread around 53.388 square meters. Most of these stands are related to clothing and accessories (105) while 52 represent the “fresh market” goods so known and appreciated in other markets in Barcelona. There will be 78 stands selling books on Sundays which will represent one of the biggest spaces of this kind in Europe.
This new market will have AC – a novelty in comparison to the former version. Other practical things include parking and a gym. The marketplace will even have a museum space with reference to Roman times and a very well conserved part of the medieval wall of Barcelona.
Inside the market we will only find 3 bars and 6 “tasting stands”. The idea behind this limitation is to conserve this place as a genuine marketplace and not a food court and/or theme park. The neighbours of this part of the city have witnessed and incredible and dynamic transformation of this area which they would like to limit and control being aware that the new Sant Antoni market will draw the attention of larger crowds – they still want the place to be “a real market”.
So next time you are in Barcelona don’t forget to visit this emblematic place and the charming area around it full of beautiful little shops, local bars, “bodegas” and restaurants.