After we completed our morning tour to the monastery at Montserrat we had some lunch on the ship and then took the shuttle into Barcelona. The Columbus Monument is in the center of a traffic circle at the end of Las Ramblas, the huge pedestrian market street that cuts through the center of the main city. It is absolutely jammed with people. We were warned also that is a place to keep your hands on your wallet as pickpockets are active in the area.
We turned down Calle de Ferran and to the Palau de la Generalitat. Built between the 15th and early 17th centuries, the Palau de la Generalitat is the seat of the Catalan Government, which was established in 1283 and is called “the first parliament in Europe.”
This is City Hall which sits on the other side of Placa de Sant Jaume (St. James’ Square), from the Palau de la Generalitat. The square is considered the administrative heart of the city for obvious reasons. From St James’ Square we turned onto Via Laietana and went to see the surviving sections of ancient Roman walls, which date from the 3rd and 4th Centuries. At one time there were 75 or so defense towers on the city walls.