Traces of the History of the FCB in the Center of Barcelona
Because It’s a guided ebike tour of the history of one of the world’s most important club: FC Barcelona. You will visit Barcelona’s old town, the Gothic Quarter, the Raval (where the club was founded in 1899) and the Born, before continuing to discover the Eixample district and Les Corts, location of the legendary Camp Nou stadium.
This is an urban tour through Barcelona, including many sites related to the FCB, such as the Gimnás Solé, the social club where Joan Gamper founded El Barça, the Font de Canaletes in Las Ramblas where fans rally to celebrate their team’s triumphs, and different little known places where members used to congregate throughout the club’s history.
The tour begins at the Arc de Triomf and will first take you to the nearby home of Hans-Max Gamper Haessig, the Swiss businessman who founded FC Barcelona in 1899. Joan Gamper, as he was called by local citizens, first came to Barcelona to do business. His passion for football led him to overcome his initial rejection of the bourgeois establishment and, in the middle of the Raval neighborhood, he recruited talented foreigners and locals to create a competitive football team. Still today, the FC Barcelona is linked closely to the city and its emblematic places and neighborhoods.
The next stop, the Palau de la Música Catalana, is a social and artistic symbol, wherein 1922 the FC Barcelona’s General Assembly was held, in which Gamper would be re-elected president for the 4th time. Next, your guide will show you the way through the alleyways of El Born, until you reach the Basilica de Santa María del Mar, known as the Cathedral of the Sea, which hides a small Barça logo in one of its marvelous church windows. The club’s board of directors, strongly committed to the city, financed the church’s reconstruction after a disastrous fire during the Civil War in 1936.
From the Born you will continue to the Gothic Quarter, reaching Plaça Sant Jaume, the central square where the mayor hall, l’Ajuntament, and the catalonian government headquarters, el Palau de la Generalitat, are located. The square has been the location of the club’s title celebrations until 2005 when the ceremonies were moved to the Nou Campstadium.
Seeking the club’s traces throughout the Gothic Quarter, the next sight you will visit is the Basílica de la Mercè, a small church dedicated to the Verge de la Mercè, patron saint of the city of Barcelona, to which, following an old tradition, the club’s teams offer their trophies. From this point, you will continue to drive on the most emblematic avenue of Barcelona, Las Ramblas, where your guide will take you to the oldest restaurant in Barcelona, Can Culleretes, where Barça fans gathered regularly at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Barça Ebike Tour continues on Las Ramblas until you reach the most popular lottery sale point in Barcelona: Loterías Valdés. Its founder, Miquel Valdés, was a Barça player during the first years of the club’s existence and his store became a storage place for the club’s sports equipment.
Almost at the end of Las Ramblas, near to Plaza Cataluña, you will find the famous Font de Canaletes, the emblematic fountain where countless fans of the FC Barcelona come to celebrate their team’s victories. In the early twentieth century, the club’s followers congregated in front of the headquarters of the sports newspaper “La Rambla”, located right next to the Canaletes fountain, because the team’s match results were displayed on a blackboard on the headquarters’ façade.
The next stop of the Barça eBike Tour will take you to the Raval. This neighborhood accommodated several sports facilities of the Catalan bourgeoisie of the time, among them the Gimnasio Tolosa and the Gimnàs Solé. Joan Gamper tried to convince the owner of the Tolosa Gym to establish an international football team, who refused because he only wanted to accept local players, founding the FC Català. The Swiss businessman joined the Gimnàs Solé and placed a newspaper advertisement to recruit the first 11 players of the newly founded FC Barcelona: two Swiss, two British, one German and seven Catalans.
Still in the Raval, you will continue to the next stop, Can Moritz, the current Moritz beer brewery, a leading meeting place of Barcelona’s society at the beginning of the 20th century and the club’s headquarters between 1910 and 1914.
In the neighborhood Eixample Esquerra, precisely in Calle Indústria, you will find the former location of the stadium La Escopidora, the first playing field owned by the Futbol Club Barcelona. The arena eventually became too small, so much that people who walked by could see the “cul” (Catalan for backside) of those spectators who sat on the walls of packed the stadium, nicknaming them “culers”. After crossing the Avenida Joan Tarradellas, you will reach the place where the second stadium of FC Barcelona was once located, the Estadi de Les Corts. This arena had a capacity ranging from 25,000 people in 1922 to 60,000 in 1957.
After visiting the FC Barcelona’s first two stadiums, you will continue to cycle through the neighborhood of Les Corts to arrive at the current FC Barcelona stadium: the Camp Nou. Its construction was promoted by the club’s then-president Francesc Miró-Sans, who realized that the Les Corts stadium had become too due to the public interest that the signing of Hungarian football legend Ladislao Kubala caused. The Camp Nou (which in Catalan means “New Field”) was inaugurated in 1957 and is remains the stadium with the highest capacity in Europe.
Before entering the inside of the Camp Nou (the ticket is included in the tour) your guide will take you to La Masia, a symbol of the important role that grassroots football plays in the philosophy of the club. Out of the Masia academy have emerged superstars like Messi, Iniesta, Piqué, Puyol, Guardiola and many more. In 2011, the academy’s training facilities have been transferred to the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, a compound outside of Barcelona’s city center. However, the legendary Masia still stands at its original spot. After the stadium visit your guide will take you back to the start point, but not without showing you more interesting landmarks related to the history of the Football Club Barcelona.