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Mercat Fira de Bellcaire Treasure trove

Barcelona’s largest, oldest and, arguably, best flea market, Mercat Fira de Bellcaire dates back to the 14th century. While most of the items are of a more recent vintage, the baffling range of weathered treasure to be found does the market’s long history proud.

Alongside idiosyncratic selections of dusty bric-a-brac and old curios, more conventional commodities are in impressive supply—secondhand clothing and vinyl abound. Also, be sure to check out the section where carpenters sell their own new and refurbished furniture.

The market opens at nine, and an early start is recommended if you want to catch it before the crowds roll in and decimate the day’s store of goodies. Once you’re shopped out—and you will be—fall into one of Barrio Clot’s many tapas bars to sample the local hospitality and cuisine.

Castillo de Montjuïc Elevated fortress

The creation of Castillo de Montjuïc began in the middle of the 17th Century, with additions continuing up until the late 18th Century. It was commissioned during the ‘War of the Reapers’, fought between Catalonia and Spain. For this reason, many Catalans have a profound affection for the building, whose imposing outline now represents a purely symbolic resistance to rule by the Spanish government from Madrid.

The castle’s position was originally intended to give early warning of approaching ships, and still offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea to tourists and residents alike. It is also an opportunity to see another side to Barcelona, with its surrounding industrial sprawl in perfect view.

For those wishing to gain a more in-depth understanding of the fascinating history that defines this impressive building, there is a military museum within the castle grounds.

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