For any visitor arriving for the first time, or making their return to Barcelona, will have heard about the variety of markets that the Catalan Capital has to offer. Just off the Ramblas is La Boqueria, a famous market that is frequented by locals and tourists who cannot wait to snap a photo of the fresh produce, sample the tasty delights and of course be mesmerized by the spectacular colors.
But Barcelona has a hidden jewel, the Sant Antoni Market (Mercat de Sant Antoni) that is currently under massive renovations and is due to be reopened in 2012. What makes the Sant Antoni Market so unique is that unlike other Barcelona markets, it offers stalls for clothes, bags, toys, crafts and other flea market goods on top of its fresh produce.
Built in 1882 and located between El Raval and Poble Sec in the Eixample Esquerra district of Barcelona, this impressive structure was an architectural masterpiece when it was first built, together with its innovated use of cast iron. Laid out in a Greek-Cross style plan which is inset into a larger square, the Mercat de Sant Antoni is one of the larger markets in the city and boasts beautiful details from wooden shutters, ornate cast iron railings, pretty glazed tiles, half-moon windows and the use of reds, yellows and white to emulate the Catalan flag.
Currently the Mercat de Sant Antoni is closed for major renovations, but when it reopens in 2012 the market will not only be an asset to the city of Barcelona but also to the area of Sant Antoni, which will only increase the value of these properties in Barcelona. With so much under one roof, tourists and locals alike will benefit from a wide range of produce and products that will be unrivaled anywhere in Europe.