What to visit / Barcelona, district by district / Sant Martí / Poblenou / The old part of Poblenou

The old part of Poblenou

The old Poblenou of narrow streets and modest dwellings, where blue-collar workers and fishermen once lived, still exists. A Poblenou close to the sea which comprises the oldest part of district 10 and is well worth the detour in order to sample the contrasts of this area in the Sant Martí district.

The centre of the Poblenou district originates from an area known as Taulat: the lowest part of the old village of Sant Martí de Provençals which stood closest to the sea. This was an area of abundant wetlands, lagoons and reed beds, which gave their names to some of the streets in the neighbourhood, such as Carrer Joncar (Catalan for reed bed) and Llacuna (Catalan for lagoon). It was here that the first plots of land, where the untreated fabric was set out to bleach by exposure to the natural elements before being dyed or printed, were established, as well as the textile mills, which used the water from the area.

Nearby stands the Plaça de Prim, which was built in 1851, and forms the core of the residential area of Poblenou. This is a charming spot, with ombú trees and benches, set against the backdrop of the chimney of the old steam mill. This is the part of Poblenou where we can still feel its industrial past.

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