Barcelona is a modern city where you can find the latest in technology and fashion.  It is also a traditional point of reference in Europe with a history dating back over 2,000 years. Its streets bear witness to the changing fortunes of mankind and progress. The city’s shops showcase a varied and complementary range of products which reflect a cosmopolitan and pioneering city and a legacy and historic wealth which imbues it with a special personality.

Now, a few years into the 21st century, Barcelona still has shops dating back hundreds of years, faithful guardians of tradition and quality which have withstood the ravages of time, modernity and globalisation. Specialisation and love of things well done are the leitmotif of these shops, the preserves of decades and centuries of good commerce.

Master roasters E&A Gispert (Sombrerers, 23) produce freshly toasted nuts every day from their wood-burning ovens. Founded in 1851, they stock a wide range of nuts and dried fruits and other produce from around Catalonia. El Rey de la Magia, opened in 1881 by the magician Joaquim Partegàs, is one of the oldest magic shops in Europe. The Cereria Subirà, is even older. Founded in 1761, it is the oldest shop in Barcelona. Located at Baixada Llibreteria 7, its original decor remains intact. Here you will find a wide variety of candles which have continued to adapt with the times.

L’Arca de l’Àvia, located at Banys Nous, 20, stocks antique textiles, home linens and handcrafted textile designs. Highlights include a selection of costumes and textile accessories dating from the 18th to 20th centuries, which are extremely useful for period costume dramas. El Ingenio (Rauric, 6), has specialised in cardboard and papier mâché masks and figures and fancy-dress costumes since 1838. A delight for imaginative minds.

The Herboristería del Rey, at Del Vidre 1, is one of the city’s oldest shops. Founded in 1823 by Josep Vilà, it was the official herbalist of Queen Isabella II of Spain. Another shop named after a famous personality is the Casa Beethoven (La Rambla, 97). This music emporium has stocked a wide variety of sheet music and other items since 1886.

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