The reform of the Rambla brings to light archaeological remains from the 15th to the 18th century

Archaeological remains continue to emerge in the city of Barcelona.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
22 March 2023 Wednesday 09:44
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The reform of the Rambla brings to light archaeological remains from the 15th to the 18th century

Archaeological remains continue to emerge in the city of Barcelona. This time they have been found during the reform works of the Rambla and cover different historical periods, from the 15th to the 18th century. The vestiges found are in the lower part of the emblematic promenade on both sides, between the Columbus monument and Drassanes. “In the works there is an archaeological control and we already knew that historical remains would come out due to prior knowledge, previous excavations or old plans. There is a lot of archeology in this area”, highlighted Xavier Maese, an archaeologist from the City Council's Archeology Service, yesterday during a visit to the media to show the remains.

Despite a certain forecast, there have been some surprises. The most outstanding ones correspond to the base of an ornamental fountain from the 15th century with a paving of glazed tiles with floral motifs, some elements located just below a pedestrian crossing on one side of the Rambla. Archaeologists believe that it belonged to the house of someone with a significant purchasing power at that time, being able to afford this type of decoration. These pieces have already been disassembled and have been transferred to the warehouses of the Barcelona History Museum for restoration.

Being a work in which different ditches have been opened, the vestiges have appeared in different spaces. Thus, in front of the Barcelona Military Government building, remains of the 16th-century Drassanes bastion and the old Sant Francesc convent have emerged, such as the laundry rooms, located in the courtyards that were affected by the construction of the defensive structures.

On the other hand, a few meters from the Nadal Command in Barcelona, ​​the pavement that was part of the old parade ground of the Drassanes barracks, built in 1792 after the War of Succession to house the soldiers of the Bourbon army, is preserved. And a little further on, on the side of the Portal de la Pau square, the entrance door of this military building and what apparently were the kitchens have been discovered.

The barracks began to be dismantled from 1935 and were large as they extended to the current royal shipyards. “In a quarter of a century this space has changed a lot. First with the construction of the semi-bastions, then the barracks and also with the beginning of the urbanization of the Rambla”, explained Carles Carbonell, director of the archaeological intervention, which began a few months ago.

After documenting and protecting the remains with a cloth, the vestiges will be covered soon so that the works can continue. Regarding its rhythm, the archaeologists point out that the archaeological intervention is contemplated in the forecasts of the works and that they do affect, but in this case not excessively in a performance that is already long in itself. The long-awaited reform began in October with more than six years of delays since the final approval of the special plan for the Rambla in 2016. The remodeling is undertaken in different sections in five phases, each one lasting 18 months so as not to lift the entire promenade to the ground. Same time.

The first intervention has begun in the lower part, between Santa Madrona and the Columbus monument, where these vestiges have been found, in addition to those found recently during the work on the green axes of the Eixample that uncovered an old farmhouse from the 17th century. XVI or the reform of Via Laietana at the confluence with the Antoni Maura square in which two skeletons from the Roman era of the 5th century were discovered.