Passeig de Gracia

A beautiful avenue in the centre of Barcelona

Walk along the emblematic Passeig de Gracia!

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If you looked at Barcelona from the sky, you would see a large grid-like area in the middle of the city where some of the streets are more thickly marked than others. One of the ones that goes from the upper part to a huge square at the end of the grid (which is Plaça Catalunya) is Passeig de Gracia, an elegant promenade that hides many gems of Catalan Modernisme under a beautiful canopy of trees.

Passeig de Gracia is the most expensive street of the city of Barcelona - and also the most expensive of Spain! It is nowadays famous for being one of the most important shopping avenues of the Ciutat Comptal, but it is also one of the most beautiful avenues of the city, full of history and architectural masterpieces. If you want to learn more about it, don't miss the following lines!

A little bit of history

Passeig de Gracia is the heart of L'Eixample, the largest district of Barcelona. Did you know that before the construction of L'Eixample the city was only formed by the areas closest to the sea? That's right, the charming upper neighbourhoods of the city, such as Gràcia, Horta or Sarrià, were independent towns before the end of the 18th century. When L'Eixample (which means 'expansion district' in Catalan) was designed and built, those towns were annexed to Barcelona, and that's how the city as we know it today was born. Passeig de Gracia is the avenue that communicates the old city (and nowadays the city centre) with those former towns, since it goes from Plaça Catalunya, the neuralgic centre and door to the Old Town, with Gràcia, the first of those former towns - in fact, Passeig de Gracia means 'promenade of Gracia'.

But did you know that Passeig de Gracia had a different name before L'Eixample was built? Back then, its name was Camí de Jesús (Jesus Road), and it was a rural path full of gardens. It's hard to imagine that such an avenue was a simple path not that long ago, since it is nowadays a real masterpiece under our feet - and that's not a rhetoric figure! While you walk along Passeig de Gracia, you will be stepping on the panot Gaudí, a hexagonal tile that was designed by Gaudí himself. As you can see, from the very moment it was designed, Passeig de Gracia had a strong will to become the elegant, unmissable avenue it is today, a landmark of the city of Barcelona itself.

The district of L'Eixample is worth visiting besides this important avenue. It was built at the end of the 18th century, which was also the golden age of the architectural movement known as Modernisme, the most appreciated and characteristic architectural style of the city of Barcelona. Catalan Modernisme, which is sometimes defined as a mixture between gothic style and Art Nouveau, finds inspiration in nature, light and symbolism, and it has provided us with some of the most unique buildings known to date. Besides Passeig de Gràcia and the famous houses located there, there are many other buildings in L'Eixample that are part of this style and that will catch your eye.

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