Did you know that until the 19th century Barcelona wasn’t nearly as large as it is today? The Eixample, the expansion district that can be seen as a large grid from the sky, wasn’t built until then, and it brought Barcelona and the surrounding towns together. That’s right – all the upper neighbourhoods of Barcelona were independent towns until then. Today we’re going to pay a visit to one of them, beautiful Horta, which means ‘vegetable garden’ in Catalan. Horta, known as Sant Joan d’Horta before being annexed to the city, was an independent town until 1904. It’s located in the valley between the Collserola mountains, the Peira Hills, La Rovira, Carmel and the Creueta del Coll, and agriculture was the main economic activity – as its own name suggests!
In the following article we’re going to take you on a tour around Horta so you get to know one of the most charming and unknown places of Barcelona, where you’ll get a glimpse of how this famous city was like a century ago. Enjoy!
A tour around Horta: Highlights
Are you ready for our tour around Horta? We’re going to start in beautiful carrer d’Aiguafreda, also known as the street of the laundresses, which was another of the most prominent economic activities in the old town of Horta. The laundresses made a living of washing the clothes of Horta’s rich families, and you could see them carrying the laundry along this little street.
Now we’ll walk until Plaça d’Eivissa, a very small square that concentrates most of the social life of the neighbourhood. If you’re hungry, pay a visit to El Quimet d’Horta, which offers some of the best sandwiches in Barcelona. Then we’ll go on until La Clota, a tiny neighbourhood full of little streets that keeps its rural and ancient flare and where you’ll be able to see old low houses typical from the upper towns of Barcelona, now the upper neighbourhoods. Finally, we’ll start going up to see Horta’s most famous attractions, Horta’s Park Labyrinth, a beautiful historical labyrinth where you can see many statues, a neoclassical garden from the 18th century and a romantic garden from the 19th. But before getting there we can take a look at two of Horta’s most famous masias (country house), Can Travi and Can Cortada, which are nowadays renowned restaurants.
Did you like our little tour around Horta? If you spend a day in this charming neighbourhood you’ll feel like you’re very far from Barcelona, as it keeps the old spirit of the area almost intact.