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The Gothic Quarter (Catalan: Barri Gòtic, IPA: [ˈbari ˈɣɔtik]) is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. It stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to Ronda de Sant Pere.
Despite several changes undergone in the 19th and early 20th century, many of the buildings date from Medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Remains of the squared Roman Wall can be seen around Tapineria and Sots-Tinent Navarro to the north, Avinguda de la Catedral and Plaça Nova to the west and Carrer de la Palla to the south. El Call, the medieval Jewish quarter, is located within this area too.
The Barri Gòtic retains a labyrinthine street plan, with many small streets opening out into squares. Most of the quarter is closed to regular traffic although open to service vehicles and taxis.
In 2011, a controversy emerged over the authenticity of numerous Gothic Quarter buildings due to the publication of a dissertation entitled The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona: Planning the Past and Brand Image by Agustín Cócola. According to the author, the majority of the neighborhood’s buildings are not originally Gothic but rather restorations or even new, Gothic Revival-style projects carried out between the 19th and 20th centuries, yet they are advertised as Gothic and many of them have the status of National monument. The principal causes would be the attempt to attract tourism, and the identification of the Catalan bourgeoisie with Gothic Art as an era of splendor in Catalan Art and Culture. Among the principal buildings inappropriately listed as Gothic are included: