Barceloneta EX

Barceloneta and Port Vell are two of the city’s most popular and vibrant areas, but it hasn’t always been so. This seafront has undergone such dramatic changes over the past fifteen years that it is almost impossible to imagine what the area once looked like. Before the 1992 Olympic Games, this was a filthy, neglected wasteland. Now, it’s a model, modern beachfront, with a revamped and fully functioning seaport.

It’s a far cry from the slum of the 1700s. When the Ribera neighbourhood was raised in 1714 to make space for the new citadel, many of those made homeless ended up here, slumming in shacks by the beach. It was a logical place for a new housing project, and a series of cheap blocks, based on military barracks, were thrown up. They quickly filled with fisherman and sailors until massive overcrowding lead to each living space being halved, then quartered, then extended higher. It remains a strongly working class area with a strong community spirit, and its Festa Major celebrations are among the city’s best.

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