Contemporary history


Until the city walls were demolished in 1854, Barcelona had no room to grow. The wall, except for the Barceloneta area, constricted the city. The city was a fortified military site and it was not allowed to build anything outside the wall within the range of a canon shooting distance.

During the first half of the 19th century, the population of Barcelona had more than doubled. It went from 83.000 to 187.000 inhabitants. It was difficult to fit the growth of the population and the city, and the Jewish quarter, suffered a big transformation. The vast majority of the façades of the buildings that we see today at the Call area reveal the transformations they went through. These changes, made during the 19th century, are much more visible than the ancient Jewish quarter features of the city. However some of the buildings have kept some remains of the ancient Call. Some remains may still be buried in the basements.

During the 20th century, not only the buildings were transformed, but also the grid of the Call was affected by the bombings of the Civil War. A new square was formed from the ravages of war. The square “placeta de Manuel Riebé” is where buildings sat before the war. The square named Plaça Felip Neri was also totally rearranged.