Squares in Gràcia
The squares were built as a result of the development of the former village of Gràcia and have become the focus of recreational and social life for locals and visitors in Barcelona alike. The neighbourhood is dotted with over 15 of them, places which afford light and shade, where people can meet and chat: colourful spaces which appear, almost by surprise, among the narrow streets.
The squares include literary landmarks, such as the Plaça del Diamant, which gave its name to the novel by the Catalan authoress Mercè Rodoreda (translated into English as The Time of the Doves), and historic ones, such as the underground air-raid shelters dating from the Spanish Civil War, and have become iconic symbols of Gràcia and Barcelona. To the south, the Plaça del Raspall and the Plaça del Poble Romaní are frequented by the neighbourhood's traditional Romany community. The Plaça Rius i Taulet, where the town hall stands, has a splendid clock tower in the centre. Nearby, the charismatic Plaça del Sol is the meeting place for young people. The Plaça de la Revolució is more modest in scale, and dotted with trees that provide welcome, cooling shade. The square leads to the Carrer Verdi and the adjacent Plaça de la Virreina where the parish church of Sant Joan and the workers' cottages evoke the true flavour of this once small village. The neighbouring Plaça del Diamant features a sculpture of La Colometa, the main character in Rodoreda's novel. If you want to escape to more peaceful squares, head to the Plaça del Nord and the Plaça de Rovira i Tries, which takes its name from the architect who is the subject of the sculpture in the square.
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