Mercat del Born is a former public market and one of the most important buildings in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain constructed with iron. Located in the lower and eastern side of the la Ribera neighborhood, it is the largest covered square in all of Europe and marked the start of Modernisme in Catalan architecture.DesignThe market is rectangular, with two large domed, intersecting buildings, and 4 smaller naves. The structure is supported on cast iron columns with a flat roof covered in glazed tile.HistoryThe market was designed in 1873 by the municipal architect Antoni Rovira i Trias and built between 1874 and 1878 by master builder Josep Fontserè i Mestre and engineer Josep Maria Cornet i Mas. The structure of cast iron columns and metallic horses was fabricated by La Maquinista Terrestre i Marítima.The market came into operation in 1878 and was in use as the central market in town until 1971. At its closure, it was functioning as a wholesale market, but was replaced with the opening of Mercabarna in Zona Franca.Born "District"In recent years, the area immediately surrounding the market has been referred to as "el Born" or the Castilian variant "el Borne". A heavily gentrified area considered to be south of Carrer de la Princesa, it is full of restaurants, bar, and some small shops with many expatriates both living and socializing there. Despite this colloquial name given to the area (which is often applied to the entire district), it is still officially called la Ribera or Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera.