The origin of Mercat de Sant Josep, or better known as "La Boqueria", was the outdoor street market where the merchants displayed their products on simple tables but on a strategic spot: They located the market just in front of the gate in the Roman’s wall that gave access to the city of Barcelona! Effectively they were not inside the city and thus avoided the taxes to brings goods into city.
The market really never had a fixed place. It was a coming and going of merchants and it happened quit often that smelly products like fish or meat were invited to
move ‘three streets’ away; often it was ‘sent away’ to the gardens of the convent Sant Josep and this is where we actually have La Boqueria and why the entrance shows “Mercat Sant Josep”. During
the same period the Las Ramblas was also taking notoriety as street to walk (paseo) and also for that
reason the city hall tried to move it countless times.
As frequent as it changed it’s location, it also changed its name, this depended to a high degree on the vendors that were attending at that moment. Whatever name it had, the people referred to it generally as La Boqueria. As they say, the origin of this name is because the gate were the market was, was of stunning beauty and left the people that passed-by with their mouths wide open gazing at its beauty. Hence the name Boqueria: boca abierta means mouth open.
During the rebellion of 1835, the working class protestors burned the convent of Sant Josep (plus many others in Barcelona) completely down. It was then decided to clean the area and create a wonderful square in honor of the working class. In the meanwhile, the market stayed without finding a fixed space when it was decided to use temporally his new big square, and it is still there. We can observe that word ‘temporally’ always has had a wide interpretation. Five years later work began on the roof of the square. The market has continued to improve both its construction and its products and it now offers specialties from all over the world. Despite being a tourist attraction where traders tempt to fall into the temptation to draw the attention of foreign visitors, the neighbors still buy at the Mercat de Sant Josep as did the ancient inhabitants than 300 years ago.