What to visit / Barcelona, district by district / Eixample / Quadrat d'or / Passeig de Gràcia

Passeig de Gràcia

This elegant, majestic boulevard was a showcase for Barcelona's bourgeoisie at the turn of the 19th century, and links the Plaça Catalunya with the district of Gràcia, hence its name. The presence of Barcelona's finest modernista buildings makes this avenue a veritable open-air museum.

With a little imagination, you can still hear the horse-drawn carriages, smell the early trams and visualise the elegant ladies walking arm in arm with their husbands, accompanied by their maids who are looking after the children. This is what the Passeig de Gràcia was like in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Barcelona was expanding, the new boulevard connected the old village of Gràcia with the new city centre.

Barcelona's new artery, in the centre of the newly built Eixample district, was the place moneyed bourgeois families chose to live. On either side of the street, they constructed imposing buildings that continue to delight everyone who passes by. These jewels of Catalonia's home-grown art nouveau, modernisme, and the later movement, noucentisme, were created by architects of the calibre of Gaudí (La Pedrera and the Casa Batlló), Puig i Cadafalch (casa Amatller), and Domènech i Muntaner (Casa Lleó Morera), to name just three. On the pavement we can see the organic paving stones designed by Gaudí, and along the boulevard are the streetlamps by Pere Falqués, with their white-mosaic benches. The architectural jewels stand side by side with some of Barcelona's most prestigious shops.

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