The Eixample is one of the ten districts of the city of Barcelona. The Eixample has great architectural richness, including masterpieces of Modernism such as La Pedrera, the Casa de les Punxes, the Hospital de Sant Pau and the Sagrada Família, among many others. The Golden Square stands out, which is the area of Barcelona’s Eixample located around Passeig de Gràcia and delimited approximately by Carrer d’Aribau on the left and Passeig de Sant Joan on the right, limited by the Diagonal at the top which is shaped like a square and houses a rich architectural heritage, especially the stage modernist.
It also includes the squares of the University, Catalonia and Urquinaona; central urban arteries such as Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla de Catalunya and the roundabouts of Sant Pere, Sant Antoni, Sant Pau and the University; notable streets such as Urgell, Aragon and Balmes, as well as large sections of the Diagonal and Granvia; facilities such as the Industrial School, the Sant Antoni Market and the University of Barcelona; etc.
The Eixample was built in the years of the industrialization of Catalonia, at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. The central part, the Right of the Eixample, was the neighborhood of the bourgeoisie, which introduced in its house a style of its own, modernism, a reflection of that time. Although a good number of significant buildings were concentrated in this area, the rest of those in other neighborhoods such as Fort Pienc, the Sagrada Família, Sant Antoni and the Esquerra de l’Eixample were influenced by this trend. The whole of the Eixample is a modernist architectural ensemble unique in Europe.
Modernist architecture mixed the new techniques and new materials of the time with the use of resources provided by the various traditional decorative techniques: stucco, sgraffito, leaded stained glass, wrought iron… The work of artisans was put at the service of the design and conception of modernist architects. It was a new architecture and a new concept of space that collected the old traditional and newer techniques, in a harmony in the service of creative freedom.
Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Antoni Gaudí and many other architects created, little by little, the new district. A new style was beginning that moved away from the monotony of the dominant eclecticism until then.
The relationship between the city and the towns of the plain was very intense. From the Sant Antoni portal the path to Sants came out and from the Àngel portal, the Camí de Gràcia. The traffic was so heavy that regular horse-drawn carriage services were installed. In 1824, four rows of trees were planted around the old Camino de Gràcia, which became a promenade for both the people of Barcelona and the people of Gracia. Later gardens were built with picnic areas and outdoor venues where theater, dancing and concerts were held and there were attractions; they were the Prado Catalán, the Champs Elysées and the Tivoli, among others.
Between 1854 and 1856 the walls were demolished in a brief period of progressive government, but it was not until 1858 that a plan was made to widen the city.
It was in 1859 that the Barcelona City Council convened a competition for urban projects, the winner of which was the project of the architect Rovira i Trias. At the same time, the central government commissioned another from the engineer Ildefons Cerdà; the government imposed this plan by means of a decree that annulled the decision of Barcelona City Council. That intrusion did not please the city at all, although it proposed a better project. Barcelona rejected the Cerdà plan because it was a centralist measure of the Government of Madrid and because it wasted a lot of space, which was allocated to green areas. The Cerdà plan was not only intended for the space now occupied by the Eixample district; proposed an Eixample between Montjuïc and the river Besòs, including the municipality of Sant Martí.
The Eixample arose from 1860, in a planned way, after the demolition of the walls (1854 – 1856) and the expansion of the city. Initially, the Eixample was built following the Cerdà Plan. The engineer Ildefons Cerdà designed a neighborhood with a squared street layout, with octagonal islands with truncated corners and large pedestrian spaces and interior gardens. In practice, Cerdà’s original project was substantially modified.
Víctor Balaguer i Cirera was commissioned in 1864 to make the nomenclature project for the streets of the Eixample with names dedicated to the territories of the Crown of Aragon (Aragon, Valencia, Mallorca, Roussillon, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Naples…), in Catalan institutions (the Catalan Parliament, the Diputació, the Consell de Cent) or key figures (Pau Claris, Roger de Llúria, Roger de Flor…) which was largely adopted, but with modifications and changes of location that broke its urban logic. For example, the streets with the names of the territories ended up separated into two blocks. Later, during the Franco dictatorship, some of these names were disfigured, and were not recovered until democracy. Some of them, however, ended up losing their original meaning, such as Carrer del Compromís de Casp, which remained as Carrer de Casp.
In the middle of the 19th century a transcendental event took place that completely changed the appearance of the city, the demolition of the walls. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the population grew steadily (from 34,000 inhabitants in the early eighteenth century to 160,000 in the mid- nineteenth century), which led to an alarming increase in population density (850 inhabitants per hectare), putting at risk the healthiness of the citizenry. However, due to its stronghold status, the central government opposed the demolition of the walls. Then began a strong popular outcry, led by Pere Felip Monlau, who in 1841 published the memoir Abajo las murallas, in which he defended its destruction to prevent disease and epidemics. Finally, in 1854, permission was given for its demolition, which gave the way out for the territorial expansion of the city.
This opened the Eixample process in Barcelona: in 1859 the City Council appointed a commission to promote a competition for Eixample projects, which was won by Antoni Rovira i Trias; however, the Ministry of Development took part and won the project of Cerdà, author of a plane topography of the plain of Barcelona and demographic study and planning of the city (1855). The Cerdà Plan (Plan of the surroundings of the city of Barcelona and of the project for its improvement and extension, 1859) instituted an orthogonal layoutbetween Montjuïc and Besòs, with a system of rectilinear streets facing northwest to southeast, 20 meters wide, cut by others facing southwest to northeast parallel to the coast and the Collserola mountain range.
A series of 113.3 m square islands were delimited, of which Cerdà had planned to build only two sides and leave the other spaces for gardens, although this point was not met and finally was it took advantage of practically all the buildable ground; the buildings were designed with an octagonal floor plan characteristic of the Eixample, with chamfers that favored traffic. The plan provided for the construction of several main avenues: the Diagonal, the Meridiana, theParallel, the Gran Via and the Paseo de San Juan; as well as several large squares at its intersections: Tetouan, Glories, Spain, Verdaguer, Letamendi and University. It also provided for the opening of three main avenues in the old part of the city: two that would connect the Eixample with the coast (Muntaner and Pau Claris) and another in a perpendicular direction that would connect the Citadel with Montjuïc (Avinguda de la Catedral).. However, he contemplated a series of new rounds that would encircle the old city, in the place left by the walls: the rounds ofSant Pau, Sant Antoni, Universitat and Sant Pere.
The Cerdà plan
Cerdà’s project was quite innovative for the time, especially in terms of the delimitation of green spaces and service areas, taking into account both the functional and recreational and care aspects. The buildings had to have a height of 16 meters (ground floor and four floors), and a depth of 10 to 20 meters. The distribution of the Eixample would be of sectors of 20 x 20 islands, divided in districts of 10 x 10 and districts of 5 x 5. Each district would have a church, a civic center, a school, a day-care center, an asylum and other centers while each district would have a market and each sector a park. It also had industrial and administrative facilities, and on the outskirts was a slaughterhouse, a cemetery and three hospitals. However, most
Cerdà accompanied his project with several memoirs and statistical studies in which he showed his urban theory, developed in three main points: hygiene, based on his statistical Monograph of the working class, where he criticizes the living conditions within the walled city in force until then – life expectancy was 38.3 years for the rich and 19.7 for the poor -, against which he proposes improvements in urban orientation on the basis of factors such as climatology, as well as on the constructive elements; traffic, with a view to reconciling public roads between pedestrians and road traffic, which led him to regulate the distribution of streets and to establish chamfers on all sides of the islands to facilitate crossings; and the multipurpose design, with an urban layout that would be extrapolable to both building and existing spaces, integrating the notions of “extension” and “reform”, and that would give a hygienic and functional city, although this part of its project not
With his urban plan, Cerdà wanted to design an egalitarian city, where some neighborhoods did not differ from each other by the imposed living conditions. He planned to offer the same services to everyone. The Cerdà plan was based on a large network of perpendicular and cross streets, all of them uniform, except for two overlapping biased roads (the Diagonal and the Meridiana) and the great route of the Catalan Parliament. The point where these axes were located was the large communications center of the Eixample, where it was planned to build a large square, the Glòries Catalanes. With great rigor, the architect envisioned the uniform distribution of service areas, such as markets, social centers, and churches, as well as large parks.
The islands were not very well squared, as, to facilitate visibility, the corners were cut at the corners in the shape of a chamfer. Inside each island it was only allowed to build on one or two sides, and the rest of the space was left for the neighbors’ garden. The houses were not to be more than three stories high (16 meters), nor were they to be very deep. Cerdà conceived this in this way because he considered that the health of the citizens depended on whether they lived in well-lit houses where the clean air of the gardens circulated. As for the gardens, in addition to the trees in the streets and the gardens of each block of houses, in each neighborhood a large park of between four and eight islands in length was made. In addition, in the Poblet area, today a district of the Sagrada Família, Cerdà planned a large racecourse, and also conceived a large forest at the eastern end of the city, on the banks of the Besòs. It was also planned to build three hospitals off the street plot.
Although at that time it was difficult to imagine the existence of the automobile, spacious streets were left, where carts, cars, and horse-drawn trams could run. In short, Cerdà wanted to make a city where the accumulation of houses in the old city was avoided. The charm of the Eixample is not only the most valuable buildings, but the whole; the houses that are simpler have a cornice, a railing or a doorway with a significant detail of the architecture that characterizes them.
It should be noted that in many cases the Cerdà plot overlapped with existing or developing suburban layouts, as well as the towns bordering the city of Barcelona, which would be added in successive phases with the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, they had their own urban projects. These routes include rural roads and paths, as well as easements imposed by railways, canals, ditches, torrents and other accidents on the ground.
A tangential aspect to the new layout was the question of hodonymy, as the new urban plot designed by Cerdà included a series of newly minted streets for which there was no tradition in naming them. The nomination of the new roads was commissioned to the writer Víctor Balaguer, who was inspired by the history of Catalonia: thus, many streets are named after territories linked to the Crown of Aragon, such as Valencia, Mallorca, Aragon, Provence, Roussillon, Naples, Corsica, Sicily or Sardinia; with institutions such as the Catalan Parliament, the Provincial Council or the Consell de Cent; with characters such as Jaume Balmes, Enric Granados, Bonaventura Carles Aribau, Ramon Muntaner, Rafael de Casanova, Pau Claris, Roger de Flor, Antoni de Villarroel, Roger de Llúria, Ausiàs March or the count of Urgell; or battles and historical events such as Bailén, Lepanto, El Bruc or Casp.
It should be noted in this regard that during the century century xix began to regulate the names of streets, to the middle of this century began placing signs on the streets with his name. It was made with marble slabs andcast lead letters, similar to those of today.
The Cerdà Plan was developed mainly outside the city walls, due to real estate speculation, leaving aside the necessary improvements for the conditioning of the old part of Barcelona. The need arose then for a project of “interior reforms”, with the aim of modernizing the old core of the expanding city. One of the first was that of Miquel Garriga i Roca, author of a joint plan of alignments (1862), the first exhaustive plan of the city, on a 1/250 scale. Garriga’s project provided for the realignment of streets as a basic method of a major reform of the city’s interior, but the difficulty of its execution and the absence of expropriation mechanisms paralyzed this first project.
A more elaborate project was carried out by Àngel Baixeras in 1878, who presented a bill of expropriation to the Senate, which was approved in 1879. The Baixeras project provided for a deep remodeling of the old city, and the its most outstanding aspect was the opening of three main roads —initially called A, B and C— to make the old town more passable, following the old Cerdà project. However, the project was not approved until 1895, and still had to wait until 1908 for its execution, partially carried out, as only the A road was built, renamed Via Laietana.
The introduction of the tram for urban transport should also be highlighted from this period. A bus line running along the Rambla had opened in 1860, but the slowness of the carriages made this means of transport unviable. In 1872, rails were placed for traction, which eased transport, with cars of the imperial model – of English origin – pulled by two or four horses. The line was extended from the port (Drassanes) to the town of Gràcia, and later from Drassanes to Barceloneta. One of the first lines to operate was the English Barcelona Tramways Company Limited. In 1899 the trams were electrified.
In these years, street furniture also grew, especially since the appointment in 1871 of Antoni Rovira i Trias as head of Buildings and Ornamentation of the City Council, as well as his successor, Pere Falqués, who put a special obstinacy to combine aesthetics and functionality for this type of urban addresses. The increase in items such as streetlights, fountains, benches, kiosks, railings, planters, mailboxes and other utilities was favored by the rise of the iron industry, which allowed its mass production and was greater strength and durability.
In the 1880s began the installation of electric lighting, which was gradually replacing the gas on public roads. In 1882 the first streetlights were installed in Plaça de Sant Jaume, and between 1887 and 1888 the Rambla and Passeig de Colom were electrified. However, the generalization of electric light did not occur until the early twentieth century, with the invention of the light bulb, and was not completed until 1929.
Another of the services that emerged at the turn of the century was the telephone. The first telephone communication of the whole peninsula took place in Barcelona, carried out in 1877 between the castle of Montjuïc and the fortress of the Ciutadella, in the process of being dismantled but which still housed a garrison. That same year, the first intercity transmission between Barcelona and Girona took place, by the company Dalmau i Fills, a pioneer in the installation of lines in Barcelona. The state monopoly of the service was established in 1884, but two years later its operation was authorized to the company Societat General de Teléfons de Barcelona, which was later absorbed by the Peninsular Telephone Company. In 1925 the service was nationalized by the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, and the Compañía Telefónica Nacional de España was created. In 1897 there were 2479 telephones in the city, a number that grew progressively: in 1917 there were about 10,000, in 1930 26,000, in 1960 200,000, in 1985 750,000 and in 2000 there were 850,000 telephones.
It should also be noted that in the last third of the century numerous supply markets were built, many of them built of iron, a fashionable element in the architecture of this period. The markets of El Born (1872-1876), Sant Antoni (1872-1884), Hostafrancs (1881), Barceloneta (1884), Concepción (1888), Llibertat (1888), Clot (1889), Unió (1889) were built in this way.) and Gràcia (1892).
The Eixample is made up of the territory that historically constituted the northern end of the municipality of Barcelona, a desert sector and outside the walls; and, also, of sectors taken in the Corts (to the northwest), to Gràcia (to the north) and to Sant Martí de Provençals (to the east). Despite this heterogeneity of origin, the Eixample is a structural unit from an urban point of view.
Modern Barcelona was born in the Eixample, designed by the engineer and urban planner to whom he owes his magical and unique drawing: Ildefons Cerdà. With his urban plan, Cerdà designed an egalitarian city, where some neighborhoods do not differ from others and public services are distributed evenly in all corners.
The district is the result of one of the most splendid moments in the history of the city, when it is definitively configured as the engine of contemporary Catalonia and breaks with the medieval past by tearing down the walls. The Eixample was built in the years of the industrialization of Catalonia, at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. The central part, the Dreta de l’Eixample, was the neighborhood of the bourgeoisie that introduced its own style, modernism.
The Eixample is made up of six districts: the Dreta de l’Eixample, the Antigua Esquerra de l’Eixample, the Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample, the Fort Pienc, the Sagrada Família and Sant Antoni.
Fort Pienc District
The North Station gives personality to a neighborhood located between the train track and the Gran Via. There is one of the most important cultural points, with the Auditorium and the National Theater of Catalonia.
Fort Pienc was born as an area of fortifications. Philip V, in establishing the city’s surveillance system, built the citadel and an advanced fort, next to the road that came out of the Portal Nou, Fort Pius. Its existence passed without grief or glory and in 1869 it was demolished, along with the citadel. Very close to it, in 1861, the railway station of the Lleida line was built. The façade of those neoclassical buildings is today the side façade of the current building, enlarged in 1910 with a large iron roof. The North Station gave personality to a neighborhood located between the train track and the Gran Via. Many transporters were located there, around the old Ribes road, an old exit road from the city from Roman times until the Eixample was developed.
After the closure of the railway station in the last quarter of the 20th century, the appearance of the neighborhood has been transformed in recent decades. The old railway station has become the main bus station in the city. An important urban park was built next to it and, on the other side, a large set of facilities (nursery, apartments for the elderly, market, library…) which has become the benchmark. of a new model of integration of facilities and public spaces with the aim of agglutinating the life of the neighborhoods.
The civic center of the neighborhood is the Plaza del Fort Pienc, in front of the island of facilities on the old island FICHET, between the streets of Ribes and Alí Bei. The island is the result of an old and long neighborhood claim that hosts many social facilities (library, nursery school, market, civic center, home for the elderly…).
In the neighborhood there are the libraries Arús (specialized in Masonic subjects) and the library Fort Pienc There are also several schools of infant, primary and secondary education both public and private as the Sacred Heart of Jesus School – which shared part of its facilities with the Roser Basketball Club, école Francaise Ferdinand de Lesseps the Mireia School, the Pere Vila School, the Ramon Llull School, the Fort Pienc school or the Fort Pius Institute In terms of higher education, there is the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC). The neighborhood is also home to the cultural facilities of the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya (TNC), the Auditori (a complex that also includes the ESMUC and the Museu de la Música de Barcelona) and the new headquarters of the Arxiu de la Corona d ‘ Aragon.
Inside the neighborhood, the Plaça de Braus de la Monumental, the historic building of the General Catalana de Electricidad company (also known as Hidroelèctrica de Catalunya, later FECSA and now ENDESA), the Pont de Marina, the group stand out. school Ramon Llull. In the adjacent district of Sant Pere, Santa Caterina and La Ribera, near the border with Fort Pienc, the Arc de Triomf of Barcelona stands out, which was the entrance to the Universal Exhibition of 1888 and the Palau de Justice.
Sagrada Familia District
Beyond the limit of the Right of the Eixample, in the high part, there is the district of the Sagrada Família, that before was known like the Poblet.
Sagrada Familia District is the neighborhood of the Sagrada Familia, formerly known as “el Poblet”. El Poblet was a neighborhood that for many years had been reduced to fields, with a small nucleus of low houses located around the current street of Valencia. It did not come to have a certain entity until the early years of the twentieth century, as a working class neighborhood around many industries. What gives it personality today is the temple of the Sagrada Familia. It was commissioned as an expiatory temple and was designed in 1881 on land in the municipality of Sant Martí, when everything around it was fields. The project was initially commissioned from the architect Francesc de Paula Villar and was continued by a young architect, and then little known, named Antoni Gaudí, who took over the works when the construction of the crypt of neo-gothic style. Today, the temple is Gaudí’s best-known work around the world and the most visited place by tourists in the city.
Gaudí Avenue runs through the neighborhood, joining the Sagrada Família with another major work of Catalan modernism: the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Both buildings have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Sagrada Família district includes, at its lower end, the neighborhood of Els Encants, with the popular market-fair of Bellcaire or Encants. This area will be transformed in the near future by the remodeling that will affect the whole area of Plaça de les Glòries.
It is a residential, commercial and business district but until the second half of the twentieth century there was a significant industrial presence, an example is the old Damm Factory. The old Sagrada Família market was before 1936 the General Motors factory in Barcelona. And where the municipal sports center is now, there was the SAFA textile factory, where the main nave had a double- vaulted Catalan roof, unfortunately lost in its demolition. The most important shopping areas are located around the temple, with the squares of the Sagrada Família and Gaudí, on Avinguda Gaudí, and in the market of the Sagrada Família between Provença, Padilla and Mallorca streets. In July 2007, the Sagrada Família Public Library of the Barcelona Provincial Council was inaugurated in a new building attached to the Sagrada Família market. Until its relocation in late 2013 at its southeastern end was the Mercat Fira de Bellcaire.
Right of the Eixample
The neighborhood was the sector of the city where the Cerdà project began. It is the extension of Barcelona beyond the walls demolished in the middle of the 19th century.
The Cerdà plan was approved in 1859 and a year later Queen Isabel II laid the first stone of what will be one of the wealthiest districts of Barcelona. The first group of houses was built at the current intersection of Consell de Cent and Roger de Llúria streets. La Dreta de l’Eixample initially hosted some important industries, such as the Elizalde factory, one of the first in Spain to manufacture cars and engines. Gradually, however, it became the neighborhood in which bourgeois residences were preferentially located, with the artistic explosion of modernism represented by such prominent buildings as La Pedrera, Casa Batlló and Casa Ametller, among many others.
Along with the residences, the tertiary economic activity was located more and more strongly, and often moved them: commerce, offices, company headquarters, cinemas, theaters, etc., especially in the most central area (between Llúria and Balmes) and around the powerful axis of Passeig de Gràcia, which followed the old road that connected the walled city with the municipality of Gràcia. Today, this axis is still the center of the city’s economic dynamism and commercial projection. In 1863, the first train left Plaça de Catalunya to Sarrià, which ran along Carrer de Balmes in the open air. Between 1871 and 1888, the current parish of La Concepción moved from Ciutat Vella, and the Conservatory of Music moved to its headquarters on Carrer del Bruc in 1928.
In the second half of the 19th century, the amusement parks, cafés and ballrooms of Passeig de Gràcia disappeared, which had their golden age at the beginning of the century. It should be noted that Plaça de Catalunya was not planned in the Cerdà plan. This “oblivion” was corrected by the force of events: its position as a hinge between the old city and the new Eixample was naturally the nerve center of the city, the passage of time has only strengthened it.
It covers the area of the Eixample located approximately between Passeig de Sant Joan or Carrer de Nàpols on one side and Carrer de Balmes on the other. It borders the neighborhoods of Sagrada Família, Fort Pienc, and the Antiga Esquerra de l’Eixample, and the districts of Gràcia and Ciutat Vella. At the beginning of the urbanization, single-family houses with gardens were built, of which there are few examples, such as the houses in the Passages de Permanyer. The bourgeoisie began to occupy the Eixample, commissioning the constructions to the great architects of the time.
Old Left of the Eixample
The Old Left of the Eixample includes the part of this side of the district that was urbanized rather and that was already quite populated at the end of the 19th century.
The original nucleus of the Old Left of the Eixample is formed by the parish of Sant Josep Oriol, between the streets of the Diputació and Urgell, and the building of the University of Barcelona (UB), made in neo-Romanesque style. 1882 by the architect Elies Rogent. From this initial set, the neighborhood developed above the railway tracks (MZA), around the town of El Ninot, which was born in the eighties of the nineteenth century behind a popular tavern. This establishment had as a decorative element a doll, which ended up giving its name to the whole restaurant and entertainment area that was located around an open-air market, a direct antecedent of the current municipal market that was built. in 1931.
The creation of the Hospital Clínic and the Faculty of Medicine in 1907, and the Mercat del Ninot in 1935, served to strengthen the area and to attract developers interested in housing construction, especially from the thirties, with different styles and intended mainly for the middle classes. The burying of the train tracks that passed through the street of Aragon and the avenue of Rome allowed that in the thirties of the twentieth century began to build housing aimed at the middle class.
In most recent history, the complete renovation of Carrer d’Enric Granados stands out, which has become a civic axis that has reactivated the commercial and restaurant fabric of the area. It is also worth noting the comprehensive refurbishment of the Mercat del Ninot and the demolition of the old fire station.
In the neighborhood there is the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona founded in 1906, the Basilica of Sant Josep Oriol built between 1915 and 1930, and the Mercat del Ninot. At the southern end of the district is the Barcelona Conciliar Seminary and the historic building of the University of Barcelona, in Plaça de la Universitat.
New Left of the Eixample
Historically, the Antigua Esquerra and the Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample have formed a single district, now administratively divided by its great extension and density.
The Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample, apart from the three large pieces of Can Batlló (now the Industrial School), the Model and the Slaughterhouse (now Joan Miró Park), did not begin its urbanization and building strongly until the thirties of the twentieth century. The presence of the railway and the Batlló factory meant that until it closed, in 1910, it was not possible to create a developed urban layout. It was not until 1972-1973 that the train tracks were buried and some of the buildings in the neighborhood had to be demolished to make way for Avinguda Diagonal.
Until then, it consisted mainly of scattered groups of huts occupied by people who came to work on the works of the 1929 Exhibition, a quasi-rural situation that, in some areas, lasted until the post-war period. But with the transformation of the old factory into an Industrial School in 1910, the process of modernizing the area began. As a remarkable urban element from a historical point of view, we must mention the municipal slaughterhouse, inaugurated in 1892. It operated until 1979, when the site was used as a park, as Cerdà had already planned. This park was inaugurated in 1983, with the sculpture by Miró Dona i ocell as an emblematic piece. Another notable building is the Golferichs House (1901), created as a religious school and now a civic center, after being saved from demolition in 1972 by popular pressure.
The La Model Penitentiary Center was the first building in Barcelona built specifically to serve as a prison (1904) and follows the panopticon architectural model designed by philosopher Jeremy Bentham.
In the neighborhood there are the three buildings of Can Batlló (current Industrial School), the Model prison, the Slaughterhouse (now Joan Miró Park), the bullring of the Arenas and the Golferichs House.
Sant Antoni District
The name of the neighborhood has its origin in the church that was in the portal of the Raval of the wall of Barcelona. It is one of the most important commercial and restaurant axes.
The name of the neighborhood has its origins in the convent of Sant Antoni Abat, built in the 15th century, next to the walls of Barcelona. From that place came the path of Fraga, which went to Esplugues and Martorell; it was one of the main ones and the one with the most traffic. He was heading to the place called the Covered Cross, where the city’s cross was, before entering the village of Sants. In 1806, the convent passed into the hands of the Piarist, who took possession of it in 1815, and in 1839 the Escola Pia de Sant Antoni was born.
The origin of the Mercat de Sant Antoni dates back to the middle of the 13th century in the Mercat dels Encants, which was very marginal and outside the walls and moved, around 1850, to Carrer del Consolat. When in the period 1872-1882 Rovira i Trias made the great iron market, there was almost no house around it and it served as a market in the working-class district of the Raval. Little by little, that market and the stalls that surrounded it were consolidated as a great fair, and gave personality and life to the neighborhood that developed around it. This popular commercial tradition is still strongly maintained today, and will be enhanced with the rehabilitation and renovation of the historic market building.
The appearance of the neighborhood is the result of the reforms linked to the Universal Exposition of 1929, on the occasion of which the urbanization and the arrangement of the accesses to Montjuïc were promoted, with the elimination of the huts that were between the Paral And Gran Via and the urbanization of Avinguda de Mistral. This ancient medieval way out of the city is today a pedestrian path that brings together the neighborhood life of its surroundings. From the golden age of the Paral•lel are the Talia Theater, inaugurated in 1900, and which alternated theater and zarzuela until it closed in 1987. And the Gran Price, where it was done from boxing to political rallies, and whose premises were demolished in 1973.
The nerve center of the neighborhood is the market of Sant Antoni, which occupies the island bounded by the streets Comte Borrell, Manso, Comte d’Urgell and Tamarit. It was built in the late 19th century and is very popular for its weekly fair of old books and collectibles every Sunday morning. The shops on Ronda de Sant Antoni and Sepúlveda and Floridablanca streets have a large number of establishments selling computer equipment. A temporary market is currently being built in the middle of Ronda de Sant Antoni street to begin work on the market.
Sant Antoni also has the large Manso Primary Care Center, managed by the Catalan Institute of Health (ICS) and located at the crossroads between Manso-Calabria streets that provides care coverage throughout the neighborhood and also to the population of the neighboring neighborhoods of the Raval and the Esquerra de l’Eixample.
In terms of education, it is close to the neighborhood (Ronda Sant Pau) of the Pia Sant Antoni Abad School, although this school is located in the Raval district of the Ciutat Vella district, and the Salesians of Rocafort between d others. As for public schooling, it has the Tres Tombs Nursery School, the Ferran Sunyer Primary School and the Lluïsa Cura Secondary Education Institute.
Parks and gardens
The Eixample is a densely populated district that does not have large green areas. That is why the project to open the island’s interior gardens was born. However, the neighborhoods of Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample and Fort Pienc have two good-sized parks and unique sculptural pieces: Joan Miró Park and Estació del Nord Park. In the future, Les Glòries will become the great central park of the city, which will incorporate an elevated viewpoint and unite the green axes of La Trinitat, La Sagrera and Ciutadella.
The Eixample island interior map already has 48 interiors with almost 100,000 square meters of public space recovered and made available to the public. The project to recover these green spaces began in 1987 and continues to move forward in compliance with the Eixample District Action Plan, with the aim of providing citizens with a green area less than 200 meters from their homes. his.
The policy of recovery of island interiors has been accompanied, whenever possible, by the construction of various local facilities for the residents of the Eixample. This is the case, among others, of the gardens of Ermessenda de Carcassonne, in Carrer del Comte d’Urgell, 145, at the entrance of which is the Teresa Pàmies Cultural Center; from the gardens of Constança d’Aragó, where there is a primary care center (CAP), or from the island interior of the Antiga d’Horta road with the Fort Pienc Social Services Center.
Each interior of the island has its own personality and many retain some of the symbols that recall their past: the copper still of the old Damm factory, in the gardens of Montserrat Roig; the water tower of the gardens of the same name; the palm trees in the garden of the Sisters of the Poor inside the island of Emma in Barcelona, or the chimney of the old Bayer factory in the gardens of Rosa Deulofeu.