Roman riches – Placa del Rei, Museu d’Historia de Barcelona

Underneath Barcelona lies an ancient Roman world. After you enter the Museu d’Historia de Barcelona, you’re at first confronted with standard exhibits. But then you enter a lift and go down, down, down back in time to when Romans walked the streets.


Over 4000 m2 of beautifully preserved streets, factories and shops lie under metal walkways, providing a fascinating glimpse into ancient life.

If you’re a history nut the place is heaven, but it’s also an inspiring place for writers too. If you’re researching for historical Roman fiction, this place is perfect to help you visualise the real lives of the people who lived back then. Or you could imagine a team of archeologists discovering this place – uncovering its ghosts and secrets.

The buildings date from between 1st and 6th century AD. In Roman times the area was an industrial district, and you can still see what remains of a laundry, a garum (fish sauce) processing plant and a winery, it’s giant storage vats still in situ.


There are artifacts and descriptions of the activities that would have taken place in these streets. There are even signs of Roman recycling as old gravestones are used as part of watchtowers!

A gravestone near the top

There are also the remains of a bathhouse and an early Christian complex. There are many more photos than this but hopefully this gave you a flavour of the place. If you get the chance to visit Barcelona I highly recommend stopping by.

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