The Boqueria Market is located on the site once occuped by the Discalced Carmelite Convent of Sant Josep, and is consequently sometimes referred to as the Mercat de Sant Josep.
The first mention of the Boqueria Market appears in a document produced in 1217, stipulating that "a representative of the king has granted ownership of a table for mincing meat to a private individual".
At the end of the 13th century, during the reign of Pere the Great, a second city wall was built along the current path of the Rambla. Outside one of the gates of this wall, namely the Portal de Santa Eulàlia, was the area known as the Boqueria. Travelling vendors and peasants from the surrounding area would gather here to sell their produce. In 1470, following a petition from the peasants of Raval and the villages of the Baix Llobregat region, it was made the official site of the December pig fair.
With the Middle Ages drawn to a close, travelling markets began to establish themselves at various points along the Rambla and, by the end of the 18th century, this had led to a situation of anarchy and confusion.
So when plans were made to demolish the walls and expand the city, the idea of regrouping the various market activities in a single, covered venue was proposed. The site chosen was that previously occupied by the Discalced Carmelite Convent of Sant Josep, which had been severely damaged during the burning of the convents of 25 July 1835. Since, as a result of the disentailment of religious property, this site now constituted public land, the city council decided to request the transfer of ownership from the central government.
Once the demolition process was complete, in 1837, the stalls of the market traders were provisionally regrouped on the site of the old convent. The first stone for the new market was laid on St Joseph's Day (Sant Josep, of the aforementioned convent) in 1840 as part of an incredibly eloquent ceremony: a gold piece and other coins were placed underneath this first stone as a symbol of the wealth that this future market would bring. It soon became clear that the land available was insufficient, and so the city council expropriated the adjacent buildings.
The neoclassical square in existence today was built in 1848 with a portico of large Ionic columns. Inside, sixty-eight stalls were created and their fabric awnings served as a roof. The gas lighting was officially opened in the Christmas of 1871 and in 1914 the company Maquinista Terrestre i Marítima built the metal roof now covering the market.
The market has an iron roof made up of five identical parts with no perimeter enclosure, built in 1914 by the Maquinista Terrestre i Marítima company.
The main entrance consists of a Modernista arch built in 1913 and designed by architect A. de Falguera. It is an iron portal decorated with blue glass panels with yellow circles. It rests on two supports covered with Gaudí-style trencadís mosaic. On the upper part of the arch hangs an old coat of arms.
Year of construction: begun in 1840 and completed in 1914
Type of building: detached
Total surface area: 6,089 m2
Sales area: 2,583 m2
Alterations: completed in 2001