Poble Sec

Articles in ‘Poble Sec’

Iconic photo by Català-Roca

March 6th, 2012
Iconic photo by Català-Roca of gypsy girl with doll from Montjuic with the Canadenca chimneys and Poble Sec in the background. 1950.

The story of El Paral.lel

June 22nd, 2011

My lastest article in Barcelona Metropolitan. A history of El Paral.lel in Barcelona

Parallel, 1913

February 8th, 2011

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Remarkable photo by Frederic Ballell of El El Paral.lel in July 1913, when the avenue was the centre of Barcelona’s nightlife. Music halls, cafés, prostitution, cabaret artists, bon viveurs and a hotbed of anarchism. Many more old photos here

The only Spanish witness at the Nuremburg Trials

December 10th, 2010

Latest history article for Barcelona Metropolitan on Fransesc Boix, the only Spanish witness at the Nuremberg Trials.

Bar La Tranquilidad in Parallel

June 6th, 2010


La Tranquilad, together with the still-existing Café Español, was the most famous of the cafés of Parallel. As a haven  for gangsters, police spies and above all anarchists anything but tranquility reigned here.

During the infamous period of pistolerismo in the early 1920s, Barcelona was awash with guns smuggled from France after the end of the First World War. Weapons were sold openly in the Tranquilidad, which also organised raffles, with the winner taking home a Star pistol, the weapon of choice of the anarcho-syndicalist. More here

Anecdotes about La Tranquilidad abound. In the early 1930s, Durruti and his friends were habitués of La Tranquilidad. One story relates when a young beggar with a defeated air came into the bar asking for money. When he approached Durrut’s table the bar went silent. Durruti stared at the man for a minute, and then pulled his revolver and slammed in on the table, saying “There, take my gun. Go to the bank“. From El corto verano de la anarquía: Vida y muerte de Durruti. (The short summer of Anarchy – what a brilliant title)

The bar was later the scene of fierce fighting on July 18th 1936 when rebel soldiers barricaded themselves in here, before being defeated by the anarchist militia.

La Tranquilidad  stood at number 69 Aviguda Parallel next to the Teatro Victoria. I believe it was demolished in the 1940s.

Best Italian restaurant in Barcelona

February 16th, 2010

As far as I am concerned the best Italian restaurant in Barcelona is Bella Napoli in Carrer Magarit, Poble Sec. The place attracts large numbers of Italian ex-pats served by occassionally infuriating Marx-brother-style waiters who delight in playing tricks on the punters. Superb pizzas and antipasta. Booking at the weekend is advisable.

C/ Margarit 101
08011 Barcelona
Cómo llegar
93 442 50 56
* horas aproximadas


An Arab restaurant in Barcelona

March 24th, 2009

I had a rather nice meal last week in Restaurante Kasbah, my favourite Arab restaurant in Barcelona. The decor is great fun with the usual tapestries, mosaics, low tables and stools, and a fountain tinkling away right in the middle of the dining room. Extensive menu with Maghrebi, Near Eastern and French food.

Dishes: couscous (the lamb and chickpeas is lovely), tajin (superb), brochettes, mutabal. And make sure your try the nems – delicious chicken rolls-  and the kubeiba suri – raw meat patties, though have it as a starter not as a second course.

A full meal should come to around 20 euros.

Vila Vila 82. Poble Sec

Teléfono 93 329 8384.

Metro Parel.lel.
More here

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