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Plaça Sant Felip Neri

The Barri Gòtic's secret romantic square

Plaça Sant Felip Neri

Tucked near the Cathedral just off the main tourist trail, this romantic, enclosed square with its little fountain and acacia trees, occupies the grounds of a medieval cemetery and the former entrance to the Call. Its Baroque church of Sant Felip Neri (rarely open) was built in 1752.

During the Spanish Civil War, it served as an air raid shelter—and was hit during an aerial bombardment in January 1938, killing 42 people, including 20 children who had sought shelter inside. To this day the façade wears the scars, gouged by the destructive fury of the bomb.

Two other two older buildings in the square, the former Renaissance guild halls of the shoemakers and coppersmiths were moved here, although the little shoe museum they once held has closed. A 12th century building, restored after bomb damage, now houses the charming Hotel Neri.

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metro: Jaume I

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Image by marimbajlamesa