From the market neighborhood to urban talent

If we talk about the Born, we must talk about the soul, the heart and the belly of the city of Barcelona. It is impossible to understand what this city has been and is without the central role that El Born has played in its development and configuration. Moreover, the people of Barcelona, all without exception, would not be what we are without the existence of Born.

El Born, before the extension of the city towards the sea, had been the port district par excellence. Where El Born ended, the port began. The entry point for all merchandise from the sea, from the Americas to the Indies, our neighborhood was home to the department stores, family warehouses, and warehouse-store residences of the most influential merchants in the city. Any product you could imagine entered this great bazaar.

This neighborhood, developed outside the original city wall, became the best known commercial platform in the city of Barcelona. Heavy carts, horses and other pack animals roamed the cobbled streets of the Born day and night to put these voluptuous merchandise to safety. At the same time, each portal, each basement of a house turned from early in the morning into a colossal bazaar of objects from anywhere in the world.

This vocation of a large market, an immense souk, took a step forward with the opening of the Born Market in 1876. From that moment, our neighborhood complements its offer, becoming the great pantry of the city, in the belly of Barcelona. Hundreds of farmers every morning with their products to feed the big city. Formal market, informal market to any esplanade or corner, hundreds of specialized stores throughout the streets, the Stock Exchange where goods from all over the world are sold and bought, coexist in anarchic harmony, building a city in capital letters. 95 years have passed since a Born became the most dynamic neighborhood in the city, until with the opening of Mercabarna and the closing of the Market in 1971, we became an orphan neighborhood. Orphan of activity, but also forgotten and subjected to a meticulous and conscious process of social, housing and urban degradation. Difficult years in which the “locos” from Born kept alive a small flame of life and confidence in the future. Neighbors “of a lifetime”, a handful of “crazy” shopkeepers with their highly specialized stores, very dignified eating houses, and unique bars; They gave us an example of stubbornness and vision.

From the 90s and, taking from this small flame, El Born began to become the place where other “crazy” people arrived with their projects that would be said to be impossible. Apartments rehabilitated by artists and bohemians, small artists’ workshops, beautiful and sensitive shops, restaurants of young famous chefs, make the chemical reaction occur again and, once again, the wild blood runs through the veins of the neighborhood. Modernists would say today that El Born is the trendiest neighborhood in Barcelona, nothing is further from reality. El Born, in this first quarter of the 21st century, is the neighborhood of the future of this wonderful city. A group fully aware of its history, and that lives in the present always looking to the future. This little group of old and new brave “crazy” has become today a massive madness, a conscious and chosen madness, of being their own, authentic, unique.

In short, the old people said: “go around the world and go back to Born”.

Today we tell you: live El Born with us, make it yours and enjoy it with beauty and sensitivity to the eyes.

El Born is yours, love it!


Directory of businesses, shops, restaurants, galleries and museums associated with Born Comerç.