In the heart of the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter) you can find a small plaza that magically manages to elude most tourists and keep its powers of tranquility – impressive considering it’s just one street from the Catedral de Barcelona. This is the Plaça de Sant Felip Neri.
Built on a medieval cemetery, the Plaça de Sant Felip Neri is home to an 18th century church of the same name, which Gaudí – one of Barcelona’s most famous architects – is said to have frequently visited for prayers. When you arrive in the plaza, your eyes fix on the scars of the church, on the marks of a bloody history. It was during the civil war, in January 1938 that the area was subject to intense bombing, killing many people, including children. Today, a plaque dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives can be found alongside the remnants of the cruel shrapnel scarring on the church facade.
On the same plaza you will also find Museu del Calçat, a museum dedicated to shoes through history.