Barcelona

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Streets and Squares in Barcelona

As soon as you arrive in Barcelona, take a walk along La Rambla (sometimes called Las Ramblas because it consists of several sections), the street which is the essence of Barcelona’s atmosphere. From the monument of Columbus to Placa de Catalunya, it's filled with cafes, street vendors and artists; it's one of the liveliest spots in Barcelona. Placa de Catalunya lies exactly on the border of the old town and the 19th-Century quarter of Eixample, where all tourists go to see the greatest monument in Barcelona, such as Antonio Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia. In Barcelona’s streets and squares, you can observe the Catalans as they go about their everyday lives, so apart from visiting the major attractions, take a moment to stroll through the city.


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Passeig de Gracia
Address: Passeig de Gracia
 

One of the major avenues in Barcelona, Passeig de Gracia, is situated in the central part of the Eixample district, stretching from Placa Catalunya to Carrer Gran de Gracia. Formerly called Cami de Jesus, or Jesus Road, it was nothing but a small rural pathway surrounded by the blushing gardens between Barcelona and Gracia which were previously two separate towns. The passage acquired its present status thanks to Ramon Plana, the architect responsible for the urbanisation project from 1821. Then the work was continued by the marquis of Campo Sagrado, Jose Bernaldo de Quirós.
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Rambla Catalunya
Address: Rambla Catalunya
 

Running from the Avenida Diagonal to Placa de Catalunya, Rambla de Catalunya is an elegant boulevard set in the heart of the city's fashionable Eixample district. Considered one of the most chic streets in Barcelona, it attracts tourists with its exclusive boutiques as well as precious pieces of architecture. The street begins with the statute of a bull and it ends with a figure of a giraffe, both created by famous local architect, Josep Granyer. At the intersection with Gran Via there is a small yet beautiful fountain with four figures of little cherubs riding dolphins. Although it is just a short walk from the main Ramblas, Rambla de Catalunya is much more quiet than its greater equivalent. Lined with blooming lime trees, it is perfect for a stroll on a hot summer evening.
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Plaça de Sant Jaume
Address: Plaça de Sant Jaume
 

Placa de Sant Jaume has ancient origins dating back to the Roman period when it was the headquarters of the local authorities. Nowadays one can still find the remnants of important public buildings. On one side of the placa, there is the Palace of the Generalitat which is home to the central administration of the Autonomous Community of Catalunya. In front of it stands the City Hall. The square has been witness to many important events in modern Catalan history, including the proclamation of the Catalan State in 1931. On Sunday mornings, the people of Barcelona gather at Placa de Sant Jaume to dance the traditional dance of Catalonia, which is called Sardana.
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Plaça Reial
Address: Plaça Reial
 

Going down to the harbour, just off the left side of the Ramblas, you'll find Placa Reial, which is still one of the spots of main interest in Barcelona. Built on the site of the ancient Capuchin monastery, it was designed in 1848, by the architect Francesc Daniel Molina. In the central part of the square there is the fountain of Three Graces and two street lanterns designed by the young Antoni Gaudí. Nowadays, the square is a favourite meeting point for young residents of Barcelona who come to have a drink in one of the numerous cafes, or to just socialise in the open air in front of the fountain.
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Plaça de Sant Just   
Address: Plaça de Sant Just   
 

This small yet beautiful square is one of the spots that best reflects the original character of Barcelona. Although it is not frequented as often as las Ramblas or Passeig de Gracia, it still has a lot to offer even to the most demanding tourist. It was built upon the site of the cemetery of Sant Just, where, according to the legend, Barcelona's first Christian martyrs were buried. In the heart of the square, you'll see one of the first churches in Barcelona, Esglesia de Sant Just i Pastor, dating back to the 4th Century. The church is named after the young Christian martyrs, Just and Pastor, whose images are also featured on the fountain. Of special interest is also the Gothic fountain between the streets of Palma de Sant Just and Lledo. At the crossroads of the Dagueria and Bisbe Cacador stands the residence of an important Barcelona family: Palau Moixó. Going down the Carrer Bisbe Cacador, one will also find the impressive building of the Catalan Arts and Letters Academy (Academia de Bones Lletres.)
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Plaça de Sant Felip Neri  
Address: Plaça de Sant Felip Neri  
 

The square of Saint Felip Neri is located on a narrow Roman alleyway by the same name. Placa de Sant Felip Neri was formerly a part of the cemetery known as de Montjuic del Bisbe, or 'the Bishop's Jewish Hill'. In the middle, it has a small fountain and there is an impressive church dedicated to Saint Felip Neri with authentic Baroque mouldings, altars and paintings. Also two Renaissance buildingscan be found there: the Shoemaker's Guildhouse and the Coppersmiths' Guildhouse. The first structure was originally set at Carrer de la Baria, but after the demolition of the street, the guildhouse was first relocated to Placa Lesseps and then finally to its present site. Nowadays, the building is home to the Antique Shoe Museum. On its facade, there can be seen the lion of St Mark, which is known as the patron of the guild.
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Carrer and placeta de Montcada  
Address: Carrer and placeta de Montcada  
 

Beside the basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, there is the Placeta de Montcada which, for a long time, served the Counts of Barcelona and finally became the leading power in the town in the 11th Century. The founding of the Monastery of Santes Creus highlighted the culmination point of the family's history and the period of their greatest splendour - when Guillem Ramon de Montcada was designated King Regent to the young King Alfons II. The street soon became the main centre of commercial life in the quarter of Ribera. Today, along Carrer de Montcada, there are several commercial galleries, with its biggest one being the Galeria Maeght and others including Galeria Surrealista, Sala Montcada of the Fundacio La Caixa, Galeria Beaskoa and Galeria Montcada.
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Plaça del Rei
Address: Plaça del Rei
 

According to its name, which means 'King's Square', Placa del Rei is the most prestigious urban space in the old part of Barcelona. The square is dominated by the Royal Palace which boasts its exquisite banqueting hall, the Salo del Tinell. On the right there is the Palatine Chapel (also known as Chapel of Saint Agatha). Opposite the Royal Palace stands the Lieutenant's Palace which, at the time, housed the Archive of the Aragon Crown. At the corner of Carrer del Veguer, the Clariana-Padellŕs house is home to the City History Museum which boasts an interesting exhibition displaying the annals of Barcelona - from the very beginning to contemporary times.
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