Barcelona is a city full of tiny elevators. Or so it seems after you've been on a few of them to reach a desired destination (e.g. the Nativity Tower of the Sagrada familia; your apartment for a third time after forgetting tickets to the aforementioned). After we recovered from Sagrada familia and a pickup lunch, it was off to the Museu d'Història de Barcelona, the city's excellent museum built on the site of its former royal palace which itself covered up previous edifices dating back to Roman times. After paying a modest entrance fee, the visitor is directed to a tiny elevator that descends into the past (as indicated on the display) to approximately 100 AD. You are now in the heart of a Roman garrison town, Barcini, created for retired legionnaires the end of their tour of duty. Metal walkways snake through the partially excavated, lamplit ruins consisting of a variety of buildings once used for winemaking, salt fish preservation, and fabric dying.
Continuing upwards to a level above, we are suddenly in a episcopal worship chamber from the 7th century AD, built above and adjacent to the now-excavated walls we just left. We then emerge into the medieval structures that now grace the street level, including a beautifully restored reception hall that was supposedly where Columbus was received by the Spanish monarchs on his return from his first voyage to the New World. I would love to hear a concert in this space, as the acoustics were lovely.
The Cathedral of Barcelona is nearby, a gothic structure with lots of interesting side chapels, and a hidden cloister housing 13 white geese.