It's a maze of interconnecting dark streets linking with squares, and
there are plenty of cafés and bars, as well as the cheapest accommodation
in town. Most of the buildings date from the 14th and 15th century, when
Barcelona was at the height of its commercial prosperity and before it
had been absorbed into Castile.
The square is overlooked on one side by the Renaissance-style Palau de
la Generalitat – location of the Catalan government – and,
on the other, by the Ajuntament (town hall). Nearby, the Palau Real on
Plaça del Rei houses the Museu d’Història de la Ciutat.
Around the Catedral, one of Spain's greatest Gothic buildings, you can
still see part of the ancient walls incorporated into later structures.