The history of Barcelona begins several thousands of years ago. The origins of the city are not entirely clear. The first reliable records are from Roman times.
The city, founded in the first century B.C., was known as Barcino. It was a colony of about 5000 inhabitants in the second century AD whose strategic location close to Via Augusta allowed for trade and consequently rapid economic growth.
In Barcelona, in today’s Gothic Quarter, you can find a large amount of remains of the ancient Roman city. Even the structure of the streets follows the outline of the traditional Roman town with its two main streets Carrer Cardo and Carrer Decumanus and its crossing in the Forum.
The present Plaça de Sant Jaume is in the exact same place the ancient forums would be. These were the hub of both social and business life. This is where the courthouse and baths were located. Public authorities took important decisions on this site about the future of Barcino.
What is worth mention is the Wall of Plaça Nova which remains can be viewed from: Plaza Ramon Berenguer, Tapineria Street and Nova Square. One of its traits are the two towers flanking the old gateway for pedestrian traffic and the passage of carriages. From the side of the house of Archdeacon (Casa de l’Ardiaca) in Plaza Nova you can see a replica of a section of the Roman aqueduct that marks one of the points where the water was piped to the city.
Among these, what is perhaps the most representative architectural ensembles is that of Plaça Ramon Berenguer, located near Via Laietana, with its imposing XXth century buildings. In Plaça Ramon Berenguer, named after the Count of Barcelona between 1096 and 1131, there is a remaining section of the Roman wall of the fourth century. Barcino has left a valuable legacy.