This 19th-Century Bar In Barcelona Was Once Picasso And Gauda’s Favourite

Bar Marsella
by Tejashee Kashyap

Throughout history, many artists have had favourite bars or establishments where they found inspiration, relaxation, and camaraderie. Each establishment holds a unique place in the cultural tapestry of its respective city, providing a glimpse into the lives and inspirations of the artists who frequented them. One such iconic bar is in Barcelona, once frequented by legends like Pablo Picasso, and the famous architect Antoni Gaudí, Bar Marsella.

 Steeped In History


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Founded in 1820, Barcelona’s Bar Marsella is one of the oldest bars in the city and has an intriguing history. It became a popular meeting place for artists, intellectuals, and writers during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

For Picasso and Gaudí, their most-frequent bar was the famous Bar Marsella.  Gaudí was known to frequent Bar Marsella. He was drawn to its bohemian atmosphere and its status as a hub for creative minds. The bar’s dimly lit interiors, vintage decor, and absinthe-infused drinks created an aura of mystery and inspiration.

Legend has it that Gaudí would spend hours engrossed in deep conversations with his fellow patrons, often sketching his architectural designs on the bar’s wooden tables. Additionally, the eclectic mix of individuals and ideas in Bar Marsella must have served as inspiration for him.

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What It Feels Like To Visit Bar Marsella


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Nestled in the lively neighbourhood of El Raval, the bar exudes an old-world charm. Tales of secret meetings, passionate discussions, and artistic inspiration abound within its walls. From conversations between Picasso and his contemporaries to Gaudí’s moments of contemplation, the bar witnessed the creative energy and intellectual ferment of the time.

One of the signature drinks that Bar Marsella is famous for is absinthe. Absinthe is a strong alcoholic beverage with a distinctly green hue. It was a favourite among the artists and intellectuals who frequented the bar. The ritual of preparing and serving absinthe involves a traditional slotted spoon and a sugar cube. Moreover, this adds to the bar’s allure and nostalgia.

As you sip on your absinthe, you can’t help but feel the echoes of the past and imagine the vibrant conversations and creative sparks that once filled the air.

For art enthusiasts, history buffs, or anyone looking for an authentic and evocative experience, a visit to Bar Marsella is a must.

Cover image credits: Instagram/Bar Marsella