Quatre Nacions

The building next to the Bacardi passage, the Hotel Quatre Nacions also owes its present to Francesc Daniel Molina i Casamajó. Today it is not easy to guess what those four nations were, but the newspapers published at the time of the works identified them as the Frenchmen, Italians, Englishmen and Portuguese, that is, the four most frequent hotel guests. However, at first glance a fifth nation has much more to do with the former inn, and they are the Poles.

Nevertheless, the Quatre Nacions looks back to a much longer history. Before Barcelona’s late 19th-century “Expansion” – the Eixample, where Gaudí built most of his houses – this was the most elegant hotel of the town, opposite the center of Barcelona’s cultural and social life, the town theater. According to Angelo Bignotti’s Gli Italiani in Barcellona, as early as 1717 there stood a trattoria here called “Le Quattro Nazioni”, and the inn has always been in the hand of Italian families. Since the renumbering of the Rambla the building bears numbers 38-40,  but when the sunshine falls on the facade at the right angle, you can still clearly see the number which was remembered by the sons of the four nations and repeated in their Baedeckers: Rambla 35.

In conformity with its reputation – and probably because Molina reconstructed it before starting to develop the Plaza Real – the block of the building stands alone at the corner of the square, so that you can walk around it. Along one side the Passatge Bacardi, along the other side the narrow passage of Calle Nueva de Zurbano leads in to the square.