El Mercat de Santa Caterina
The renovation of Santa Caterina Market by Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, completed in 2005, had a double objective: to modernise it and give the neighbourhood an attractive market while respecting, as much as possible, the original Neoclassical facades. The result: The result is a vibrant, multicoloured space covered by a giant mantle.
A VAST SHEET OF COLOUR
Without any doubt, the most characteristic feature of the striking Mercat de Santa Caterina is the ceramic mosaic that serves as a roof and pays tribute to the master, Antoni Gaudí. This mantle symbolically recalls the awnings covering the stalls in the olden days, fluttering in the wind.
Three of the facades of the old, white Neoclassical building have been preserved. Inside, the wooden ceilings give warmth to a space that needs, above all, to be functional and practical.
HISTORY OF AN ICONIC MARKET
Santa Caterina began life as a covered municipal market in 1845, on land left by the old convent of the same name, which was burned down on St James Night in 1835 during the confiscation and sale of Church lands. The idea was to give the neighbourhood a market that would supply food to the people living on this side of Ciutat Vella. Decades later, during the years following the Civil War, when food was in short supply in many places, the market became a centre for supplying neighbouring cities, such as Sant Adrià, Santa Coloma and even Mataró, from where people came by train to buy groceries.
Today, Santa Caterina is known for the quality and variety of its produce. Generally, it attracts fewer visitors than the Boqueria, which makes it more tranquil.
It stands in the middle of Ciutat Vella, in the Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera neighbourhood, one of the parts of the city with the most history.