A wide, tree-lined street with a large central walk running between Barcelona’s Placa de Catalunya and the Cristopher Columbus statue at Port Vell, La Rambla divides Barcelona’s wonderfully preserved Gothic Quarter from the somewhat seedier El Raval. On summer evenings it is packed with crowds of tourists and those who cater to them, making it a perfect terrorist target.

La Rambla was particularly vulnerable to the type of a low-tech attack by vehicle that has become almost common in Europe. In this attack at least 15 people were killed, with more than 80, including three Australians, injured when a white van ploughed through the evening crowd.