After 9 years of remodeling work, the final touches to the Mercat de Sant Antoni are being made, the structural work is finished and stallholders just have to move in. On the 23th of May this modern city market will open his doors to the public.
Sant Antoni Market was constructed in 1882, situated in the district of Sant Antoni. The building had a modernist style with a metal structure running throughout, and is a work by the Catalan architect Antoni Rovira i Trias. The market is laid out in an x shape and takes up an entire block in the city, making this building one of the most characteristic markets in Barcelona.
At first it was solely a food market… but in 1931 there were stalls added that sold books. In 1936 the market finally united with the entire «Mercado de Libros de Ocasión», or the Second Hand Book Market in English.
The local residents in the Sant Antoni neighbourhood are about to witness the start of the transformation of the surrounding area, with the market as the focus for local commerce, more urban greenery and more space reclaimed from traffic. At the same time, the usage plan to regulate the economic fabric of the neighbourhood is also being finalised.
The restoration was an IMMB (Institut Municipal de Mercats de Barcelona) initiative with the support of traders, who approved the plans at a conference in which 95% of stall owners voted in favour. On 10 October 2009, traders moved their stalls to a temporary market, from where they continued trading as normal.
The new facility includes 235 establishments, 52 of which correspond to the fresh food market, 105 to non-foodstuffs and the flea market and 78 to the second hand book market held on Sundays. The complex also includes a supermarket, as well as a space for use by local residents and a private sports facility. The market will be open from Monday to Saturday, from 8 am to 8 pm.
The restoration of the market also means valuable archaeological remains have been regained for the city, such as Roman tombstones and the moat and remains of the medieval city wall. Much more than just a market!