L’Eixample District, Barcelona
If you enjoy beautiful architecture or just a stroll with some window shopping, then take yourself off to Gracia Street where you will find all the buildings I photographed below.
They also have many of the very expensive shops, sort of like 5th Avenue in New York.
Also several of Gaudi's works are here, the Batllo and Mila houses, but I will show them elsewhere.
Take the metro line L2 to the Passeig de Gracia station.
A note on pronunciation, the Eixample area to my American trained eyes looked like it would be pronounced EeXample, but it is pronounced EeShamPlay.
There are many beautiful areas of Barcelona to explore. Exiample is one of the neighborhoods well worth exploring. Here Mark and I found Plaça de Mossèn Jacint Verdaguer, in Eixample, named after the Catalan poet Jacint Verdaguer.
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes (The Great Way of the Catalan Courts) is a huge boulevard that stretches for quite some distance and that takes on various characters along its expansion through the city. The part of the street that most visitors see is, of course, that which cross the Passeig de Gràcia, just north of the Plaça de Catalunya. This is another one of those intersections where you get to experience the monumental side of Modernism (Modernisme) and the Expansion (l’Eixample) – the Gran Vitalicio building and the other banking buildings all tower over this massive intersection and its rather crazy traffic. The Cinema Coliseum is another building of note, this one on the north-west corner of the intersection. There is a small memorial in front of the Cinema dedicated to the victims of Italian air raids during the Spanish Civil War – a sad chapter in a dark part of the city’s history, one that was only officially marked with this monument in 2001. Keep on your toes in this part of the city – traffic is killer, especially with all the mopeds. Things can get quite busy here too, as the massive Zara attracts more than its fair share of tourist hoards.
A street is probably not an attraction in and of itself, but Via Diagonal is really, really long - and it contains some interesting examples of modernist architecture. This is particularly apparent if you walk along the street in the Dreta de l'Eixample from Passeig de Gràcia until Plaça Verdaguer. There are a number of buildings, most of which are now private offices with store on the groumd level. One of my favourites is the Casa de l'Àsia (once Casa Quadras), which is just before th intersection of Diagonal and Rosselló, and has a very interesting façade. There are plenty more, usually unidentifiable unless you have a specialized guide to the architectural wonders of the city.
Passeig Sant Joan is a massive thoroughfare that likely fails to attract many tourists or visitors with any great sites or museums. Nevertheless, this should be an attraction for anyone with an interest in the history of Barcelona's architecture. Passeig Sant Joan has an impressive set of structures, all completed at the turn of the last century, many in the characteristic Modernist style of Barcelona. Better yet, none of these buildings is preserved as a museum or tourist attraction, which means that you get to see Barcelona's Modernist architecture employed in its intended purpose: living space. The Passeig is now home to a number of interesting shops and stores, from the artisanal bakeries and pâtisseries to the large comic book stores to the new mix of Chinese and other Asian grocery shops. Its a great place to see the synthesis of cultures and styles that is Barcelona.
Simple buildings in L’Eixample region have very beautiful decorations: grating balconies, lights, ornaments on walls, doors. Pay your attention to the planning of streets. All crossroads have scarf sides. This effect makes illusion of big area.
This part of Barcelona built in the middle of 19th century when the government of Barcelona decided to enlarge the city. The decision was to build the city in place of nearest countryside. Names of these rural places are in titles of nowadays streets. For example Passeig de Garcia Street is in the place of country Garcia. The plan of Barcelona’s enlarging created architect I.Serd – y – Sunera. The word “L’Eixample” from Catalan language means “Enlargement”.
While in Barcelona I rented an apartment in L'Eixample. I felt just like a native and it was more comfortable than staying at a hotel.
The buildings in L'Eixample are very beautiful and ornate. The area is also more calm that staying near the hectic ramblas.
I had the luck to stay in L'Eixample. It's close to everything you need to see, but far enough from the usual tourist spots. What's to see in this neighbourhood? Not much really. But if you want to eat in good restaurants afar from the tourist usual spots, then you should try walking by Aribau street and find one of the best restaurants, galleries and shops the city has to offer.
El Eixample or "Enlargement" is the central area of the city of Barcelona, formed by a grid layout of streets with diamond - shaped intersections. It reflects the expansion in the city during the last third of the 19th century. Thera may object to see in this part of city, such as Casa Calvet, Palau Marcet, Joyeria Roca (jewellery store designed by Josep Lluis Sert), Casa Lleo Morera (work of Lluis Domenech i Montaner - it has modernist floral facade), Casa Amatller, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila and many, many others.
Plaça de Catalunya divides the old town from the Eixample – a grid of streets laid out in the 19th century, in which much of the city’s finest Modernist architecture is to be found, including many of Antoni Gaudi's celebrated buildings.
Step back in time again, this time to the late 19th century. Unlike the Barri Gotic the Eixample is set out in spacious square blocks with wide, tree lined streets.
The highlights are La Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila (La Pedrera) and the Passeig de Gracia.
The Passeig de Gracia, the main street of the Eixample, is tree lined with great restaurants, tapas bars and shops. The street boasts some of the great buildings of Barcelona, including the world famous Casa Mila (La Pedrera) and what the locals call Manzana de la Discordia (block of discord).
The Manzana de la Discordia are a block of buildings that are all very different styles. One of these buildings is the Casa Batllo, another creation of the inspiring Gaudi.
Passeig de Sant Joan is a big street. Is for people and carril-bike.
When Passeig de Sant Joan across Diagonal avenue you can to see an important monument to Jacint Verdaguer (Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer).
At the end of Passeig de Sant Joan you can to see: Arc de triomf
Above Placa de Catalunya which is at the top of Las Ramblas (and is a good central reference point for the city), is the mecca of modernism known as the Eixample. Some of the best shopping and dining can be found here. City planners (foremost among them, Ildefons Cerda) designed the area to be a showcase of modernist architecture, highlighted by the works of Gaudi.
After seeing La Pedrera, we just turned right and started walking through rounded off squared blocks [uh, hard to explain]. It looks like an expensice residential area. I think I made picture of every second building! Those balconies... That day I was in love with Barcelona!