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It can all be a little overwhelming, the city may not be huge but the culture, activities, events, eateries etc. is vast. So we have taken it upon ourselves to amalgamate our local 12 years experience in the city via our blog. Whether you are planning on coming over for the festivals, want to find out vegan eats or general insider information, we will keep you in the loop.
Test of time. Barcelona’s oldest shops
In a bustling and cosmopolitan city like ours, shops flower season after season but while most of them come and go throughout the years, there’s a handful that have stood the passage of time for not only decades, but centuries. In an ever-changing world, where cities have moods and seasons, these places are like trees to many of us. Here’s my recommendation of a few magical places where it would appear that time has stood still and you can quite happily teleport to another world and another era…
Dating back to 1761 this candle shop located on Baixada de la Llibretería, 7 is the oldest establishment in Barcelona. Its original baroque décor remains intact while the use and style of the candles it sells has changed with the times. The trade’s main client had always been the Church and both the appearance of electricity in the 1900’s and later changes in liturgy during the 60’s were significant trials. It’s thanks to the arrival of magazines such as Marie Claire and Paris Match in Spain that promoted the use of candles in the home as decoration and insured the future of wax workers.
From the invention of gas lamps to electricity, the beautiful Cereria Subirà has survived countless threats to its existence and yet still stands proud offering a wide range of colorful and sweet smelling candles that make great gifts. Well worth a visit! Opening hours: Monday-Friday 09:00-13:30 and 16:00 – 19:30, Saturday 09:00-13:30
Calle Baixada de la Llibretería 7
Herboristeria del Rei
The Herboristeria del Rei next to the Plaça Reial dates from 1823 and was the first herbalist’s of Barcelona. In 1860 it became the royal supplier to Queen Isabel II and was lavishly remodeled by a theatre designer.
When you walk into this magical little shop you are met with the same aromas that customers would have experienced 185 years ago. The thick wooden drawers that line the walls are filled with over 200 different herbs and spices some of which can’t be found anywhere else. There are also hand made soaps, perfumes, herb mills and organic food products to choose from.When you visit this living museum be sure to write a note in their treasured visitor’s book that has been signed by hundreds of enthusiastic locals and tourists alike to show support for its preservation. Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 – 20:00
Calle Vidre 1
Colmado is a Spanishword for your typical grocery store and it’s also used as an adjective meaning ´full to the brim´ or ´heaped´. The Colmado Quilez was founded in 1908 and its shelves are indeed heaped with the choicest gourmet foods from around the world. The shop offers over 4000 products and specializes in the highest quality cheeses, embutidos ibéricos, foie, caviar, bubbling wines and liquors and all for very moderate prices. Its famous façade remains unchanged and the effort to conserve the store has been awarded a commemorative plaque by the Town Hall that reads “Guapos per Sempre” (In Catalan: Beautiful Forever).
When searching for a rare delicacy it’s often said that if it’s not in Quilez then you can’t get it in Barcelona…All in all, a great place to find that special touch for a perfect dinner party…
Opening hours: Monday – Friday from 09:00 – 14:00, 16:30 – 20:30, Saturday 09:00 – 14:00
Rambla de Catalunya, 63