Monday, August 08, 2011
La Rambla is a street in central Barcelona, popular with both tourists and locals alike. A 1.2 kilometer-long tree-lined pedestrian mall between Barri Gòtic and El Raval, it connects Plaça Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus monument at Port Vell.
La Rambla can be considered a series of shorter streets, each differently named, hence the plural form Les Rambles (Spanish: Las Ramblas). From the Plaça de Catalunya toward the harbour, the street is successively the Rambla de Canaletes, the Rambla dels Estudis, the Rambla de Sant Josep, the Rambla dels Caputxins, and the Rambla de Santa Monica. Construction of the Maremàgnum in the early 1990s resulted in a continuation of La Rambla on a wooden walkway into the harbour, the Rambla de Mar.
La Rambla can be crowded, especially during prime time tourist season. Most of the time, there are many more tourists than locals occupying the Rambla, which has changed the shopping selection, as well as the character of the street in general. For this reason also, it has become a prime target for pick pocketing.
Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said that La Rambla was 'the only street in the world which I wish would never end'.
The name rambla refers to an intermittent water flow in both Catalan and Spanish, and is derived from the Arabic 'ramla' which means 'sandy riverbed'. The name of the city of Ramla, now in Israel, shares the same origin.