A total of 21 urban hiking routes that retrace Barcelona’s ancient pathways

28/03/2022 - 17:56

Books. The book is an urban hiking guide with twenty-one routes that follow the ancient paths that once criss-crossed Barcelona. 

Barcelona City Council and Cossetània Edicions are publishing ‘Els camins antics de Barcelona’ by geographer and historian Xavier Martínez i Edo. A total of 21 suggestions designed to give your imagination wings, taking you two thousand years back in time to learn something of the history of Barcelona, and also simply providing an opportunity to take a walk around the city, chatting with friends or family, and enjoying the experience.

“Is it possible to go hiking where there are no paths? This book is an invitation to walk paths that no longer exist – paths that no longer exist because today there is a dense mass of buildings where they were originally created, some more than two thousand years ago”, says the author in the introduction to the book.

Most of the routes proposed in this urban hiking guide are of Roman origin, although the previous existence of Laietan settlements on Montjuïc, at Puig Castellar (Santa Coloma de Gramanet), on the Turó d’en Boscà (Badalona) and in other places both on the coast and inland, suggests that the Romans took advantage of some of the earlier paths. Many of them survived relatively unchanged until modern times, disappearing when the Eixample district was built, but always leaving behind modestly tantalising traces, physical evidence and even some sections that remain unaltered.

The detailed description of each itinerary shows the length of the route in kilometres, and the nearest public transport links, from beginning to end.

Xavier Martínez i Edo, author

Xavier Martínez i Edo holds a degree in Geography and History (UAB) and has written and illustrated numerous travel guides, and educational books on social science. Among his most recent publications Guía por el patrimonio arqueológico industrial de España [Guide to Spain’s Industrial Archaeological Heritage] (Anaya, 2020), the texts for the “Guies de Catalunya i Andorra” [Guide to Catalonia and Andorra] collection (ed. 62, 2020), illustrated by Pilarín Bayés, and the maps in the Atlas de los países en busca de la felicidad [Atlas of Countries Seeking Happiness] (Larousse, 2021) stand out.

Book launch, 6 April

‘Els camins antics de Barcelona’ is due to be presented on Wednesday 6 April at 6 pm, in the multi-purpose hall at the Mercat de Sant Antoni. Xavier Martínez y Edo, geographer and author of the book, and Emiliano Hinojo García, archaeologist, will be taking part. At the end of the event, there will be a guided tour of the archaeological remains.