Horta-Guinardó is a district of the city of Barcelona. It is the third largest district, It is located in the northeastern sector of the city, between the districts of Gràcia and Nou Barris. It also borders on the south with the Eixample, Sant Andreu and Sant Martí, and on the north, through the Collserola mountain range, with the municipalities of Sant Cugat and Cerdanyola.
Joined to Barcelona in 1897, the territory that today occupies the district of Horta-Guinardó has been integrated late into the Barcelona area. It was not affected by the process of industrialization of the Barcelona plan in the nineteenth century, nor did it suffer the urban growth of other nuclei of the city until the mid-fifties; then the chaotic construction of unconditional areas and the existence of shantytowns were combined with the creation of some quality residential areas.
In addition to the residential functions it performs, the district has established some unique elements that serve the city as a whole, these are called city-elements. These city-elements of Horta-Guinardó include the health city of Vall d’Hebron, the Mundet Homes and the Hospital de Sant Pau. These are large facilities that were located in the district due to the availability of free spaces that existed at the time.
The large existing leisure areas in Horta-Guinardó must also be considered elements of public reach. Here they appear from the Collserola park, the Tres Turons or the Laberint d’Horta park, to the Vall d’Hebron Olympic area, with sports facilities such as the Municipal Tennis Center, the Palau Municipal d ‘Sports of the Vall d’Hebron or the Velodrome of Horta.
Before the municipalities of the Barcelona plan were annexed to the city of Barcelona, what is now known as Horta-Guinardó was part of three municipalities. On the one hand, the Guinardó sector (Guinardó and Baix Guinardó) was part of the municipalities of Sant Martí de Provençals and Sant Andreu de Palomar. The rest was part of the municipality of Horta whose main nucleus was the current district of Horta.
The old town of Horta
The first reference to Horta is from 965, when the Horta valley is mentioned in a donation of land to the church of Sant Miquel in Barcelona. Among the families that had important properties in the area, related to the military nobility and the Church, there are references to the Horta family since 1034. This family promoted the parish of Sant Joan d’Horta, of which there is already news in 1095.
After the decree of Nova Planta the new municipalities of the Bourbon administration were regulated and Horta remained subject to the municipality of Sant Genís dels Agudells, but the growth of the nucleus of Horta already made in the same eighteenth century that the town hall was raised (1768) in the Plaça de Santes Creus in Horta, rebuilt in 1896.
Until the first half of the 19th century, the municipal coat of arms bore the name of Sant Genís dels Agudells d’Horta and the three birds of Sant Genís, but later it lost its name and weapons. In 1888 Horta had the districts of Vallcarca and Els Penitents, Sant Genís dels Agudells and El Coll, and in 1903, when it was annexed, it included, in addition to Horta, the neighborhoods of La Clota, El Coll, Vallcarca, Sant Genís and the Penitents.
The growth of the population center between the sixteenth and early twentieth centuries is closely linked to the existence of large amounts of water in the area, which made it possible to install numerous laundries, to the point that at the beginning from the 20th century, clothes from all over Barcelona were washed.
Spanish Succession War
In the War of the Spanish Succession in the territories of Guinardó and Horta, some little-studied episodes that have a very important value for the historiography of Horta-Guinardó. A point of special military interest was the Guinardó farmhouse, located on a hill called Cogoll, with a very good view of the Barcelona plain. This place was the watchtower from where the attacking commanders led the two sieges that Barcelona suffered in the seventeenth century.
On November 1, 1700, King Habsburg Charles II died, leaving no descendants of his own. In his will, he appointed Duke Philip of Anjou, Bourbon, as heir to other candidates. Outside, Barcelona and Catalonia in general lived in calm; inside, there were many concerns. In late 1703, the Austrians began to organize, contacting George of Darmstadt, the expelled viceroy who had left such a fond memory.
One of the attempts to recover Catalonia was the short Bourbon siege of Barcelona in April 1706. Faced with the threat of the Alliance’s armies, the two crowns (especially France) organized a broad offensive commanded from Aragon and from Roussillon. On July 2, 1706, the pretending Habsburg was proclaimed king in the state capital. He stayed there for a few days, due to pressure from the Bourbon armies, which had reorganized and counterattacked. In March 1707, Charles III was back in Barcelona. The Bourbon armies officially occupied Barcelona on 13 September. From the outset, its citizens undertook the complex task of reconstruction. The price paid on lives and property was immeasurable.
The eighteenth century represented a general economic recovery in the country that affected especially Barcelona and the surrounding villages. Horta had within its municipality a large population scattered among fields and vineyards and the farmhouses were next to the houses of nobles and manufacturers. Prosperity was accentuated with the arrival of the tram from 1901.
From 1845 to the beginning of the century the population went from 1,855 inhabitants to 6,035 inhabitants and many owners of farmhouses and lands sold the properties as plots for construction. After 1904, Carrer Major was paved (from the stream on Carrer de Castelló) and Plaça Eivissa was developed, which has displaced Plaça de Santes Creus as an urban center.
During the Tragic Week of 1909, the insurgents retreated to Sant Andreu and Horta and burned the Dominican convent and the old church of Sant Joan. The atmosphere of the twenties was very tense and the Society of Paletes d’Horta, of leftist and anarchist character, was relevant. After the dark years of the Dictatorship, when the Catalan Center and other political groups and parties were closed, the Republic brought a revival, reflected in publications such as La Vall d’Horta, El boletín and La Peira. The residential nature made the population relatively normal during the Civil War (the first incidents took place in the streets of Fulton and Horta, due to the FAI, which occupied the farmhouse of Can Querol) and the postwar period was equally quiet Until the great wave of immigration of the years 1950-60,
The most characteristic streets of the old part are the Rambla de Cortada, the street of Feliu i Codina, of Salses, of Canigó, of the Mestre Dalmau. The replacement of the ground floor houses by blocks of flats has represented, in addition to the loss of the traditional character, a population density that has made the facilities insufficient.
The peripheral location of the district in the north-eastern sector of the city places it at a certain distance from the main tertiary axes of development of Barcelona: Passeig de Gràcia and Diagonal to the Gran Via de Carles III and much of the Eixample, areas where the most specialized tertiary activities are concentrated (finance and insurance, luxury trade…)
The economic structure of the district is based mainly on consumer services, specifically retail and other consumer services, while services for businesses are very insignificant, and represented mainly in distribution services (trade wholesale and warehouses).
In the same way, although industrial activity has a considerable relative weight, most of the sectors that make it up have a residual character. This economic structure is linked to the district’s own residential urban function, ie it has been provided mainly with a series of services aimed at meeting the basic needs of its inhabitants.
On the other hand, the existence of large hospital infrastructures, such as the Vall d’Hebron Health City or the Hospital de Sant Pau, of establishments that manufacture pharmaceutical products and of activities generated from these implantations, they give the district a specific character and a certain level of specialization in health and pharmaceutical issues.
Laundries and leather goods
Among the economic activities, apart from the traditional agricultural ones, which gave a new vitality to the neighborhood, the most characteristic was that of the laundresses, the women who were dedicated to washing the clothes of the people of Barcelona, with whom it was all linked. an industry related to clothing and water. The leather industry was represented by the Adoberia de Barcelona of the company Deu i Companyia (1789), installed in Can Fontaner, an old leisure house, and other tanneries, and there were also starch factories. The activity of laundresses and skinners was predominant until the beginning of the twentieth century, and from the skin derived shoemakers, garrisoners, glovers and binders. The street of
Among the cultural and associative entities that have focused on the life of the neighborhood, the Lluïsos d’Horta Parish Center stands out, founded in 1866 in Cal Xicus (Carrer Baix d’en Mariner) by Monsignor Lluís Cantarella, with hiking sections, photography, library, literary and theatrical center. Of the subsidiary bodies are the Esbart d’Horta founded by JM Castells i Andilla, and the Grup d’Estudis Teatrals d’Horta, born under the initiative of Josep Montanyès in 1964. The Ateneu was founded in 1868 with the name of Círcol Hortenc and has a library, chess section, artistic activities room, etc. The Workers’ Vanguard, founded in 1894 to raise the cultural level of its members, was part of the Catalan cooperative movement through the Federation of Consumer Cooperatives and other entities; we will depend on schools, music sections, sports, etc.
El Foment is an entity deeply rooted in Horta; it was founded in 1887 as a continuation of the Sociedad Casino Familiar in Plaça de Santes Creus and in 1917 under the name of Foment Hortenc it was installed in the premises on Carrer Alt d’en Mariner (Pere Serra i Pau building); destroyed by fire in 1946, rebuilt in 1948 and has a meeting, conference and exhibition room and has a library; a good theater group depends on it.
Other entities are more intensely dedicated to sport, such as the Horta Tennis Club (1912), on the grounds of the old church, the Horta Athletic Union, the Horta Sports Union, the Horta Futsal Club, the Unió Excursionista d’Horta, which at the same time also fulfill a civic and cultural function.
Among the care centers, very numerous in Horta and which completely exceed the scope of the neighborhood, we first mention the Institution or Patronat Ribas, orphanage founded by Lluís Ribas i Regordosa, building of the architect Enric Sagnier, surrounded by gardens, today a vocational and high school training institute; between Les Heures and the Labyrinth there is the large care complex centered by the Anna Gironella de Mundet Homes, which has collected many of the facilities of the Casa de Caritat in Barcelona;
Already in 1915 the Diputació de Barcelonathanks to the financial support of the Albà Foundation (instituted by Miguel Albà i Andreu), he installed a hospital of this name in the old Torre dels Frares and a building built by F. de P. Villar i Carmona (finished by B.Bassegoda);
The donation of Artur Mundet i Carbó (1954) encouraged the Diputació de Barcelona to build this care complex, starting from an unfinished building from 1927 and new pavilions, the work of the architect Manuel Baldrich, for the residence of old people and also schools and re-education centers for children; the buildings are adorned with works by good painters and sculptors (Subirachs, Clarà, E. Serra, Tharrats, Guinovart, etc.);
The Hospital de Sant Rafael, specialized in children, is located on the Paseo de la Vall d’Hebron(until 1967 in the Cortes); next to it is the large Health City of the Vall d’Hebron, with a set of 2,300 beds and outpatient clinic, one of the largest and best equipped in the state. Nearby, in the Can Papanaps sector, is the Municipal Institute of Psychiatry, built in 1971.
In the field of education, Horta has a good tradition that starts from the work of a prestigious teacher, Francesc Comerma i Bachs, and the work of some secular schools, such as the schools of the cooperative La Vanguàrdia Obrera, renovated, which remained until 1975. Of the state ones, the Unitary School founded in 1906 and which was located in the building of the old town hall of Horta in Plaça Santes Creus, today, should be highlighted. Social Services Center. It was interesting the school that will operate during the Civil War in Can Glòria, this Production School, where the same students exploited and marketed farmland. Among the denominations, the Parish School created in 1904 by M. Bundó i Vidal stands out., of very Catalan sensibility and rooted in the village, which passed in 1912 to the brothers of the Christian Doctrine (La Salle-Horta Schools). The Dominican School of the Annunciation, created in 1878, also has a good tradition (it was visited by Maria Montessori). In 1913, the École Ménagère was inaugurated, the first home school in Spain.
The territory of the current district, as established in 1984, includes most of the old municipality of Horta, to which have been added administrative districts of Andreu (La Font d’en Fargues) and Martinique (el Baix Guinardó, Can Baró and El Guinardó); it also includes the Carmel district, formed after the aggregation in a sector where Gràcia, Horta, Sant Martí and Sant Andreu historically converged. On the other hand, two historically horticultural administrative districts are included in the district of Gràcia: Vallcarca and Els Penitents i el Coll.
The diversity of the physical environment of Horta-Guinardó characterizes the district and has conditioned, over time, the process of occupation and urbanization of its land. The existence of clearly differentiated physical units, such as Collserola, Vall d’Hebron, the Rovira mountain ranges or the Horta stream, has led to the creation of a very different urban structure by sectors. Thus, the district is made up of a heterogeneous set of urban areas that broadly match the physical units.
In the same sense, the diversity of the physical environment forms a rugged relief, where the most characteristic element is the slope. A steep slope, which involves difficult road services and building conditions. Likewise, economic activities that require large spaces and certain traffic conditions are difficult to implement in the district.
On the other hand, the characteristics of the environment of Horta-Guinardó (orientation, temperature, little pollution, proximity to free spaces…) can be considered privileged for certain uses. Residential and leisure activities can be carried out easily as long as this development is carried out in an appropriate manner.
The territory now occupied by the Horta-Guinardó district has been integrated into the Barcelona area late. It was not affected by the process of industrialization of the Barcelona plan in the 19th century, nor did it suffer from the urban growth of other nuclei in the city (until well into our century, Barcelona grew in the southern and western sectors).
It was from the fifties that most of the territory of Horta-Guinardó began to be urbanized. This period of time is the one of maximum population expansion of the city.
The modalities of land use for residence have, however, been very diverse, and the chaotic construction of unconditional areas and the existence of hut nuclei have been combined with the creation of some quality residential areas.
The Baix Guinardó district
The Baix Guinardó is a neighborhood with its own personality in the Guinardó neighborhood. Today it has, for the most part, an Eixample configuration.
Can Baró district
The neighborhood of Can Baró, located at the foot and slopes of the hill of La Rovira, was formed around a farmhouse that is currently a teaching center
The Guinardó district
El Guinardó occupied the highest part of the old town of Sant Martí de Provençals, on the border with Horta and Gràcia.
La Font d’en Fargues district
The neighborhood of Font d’en Fargues, south of Horta and north of the hill of La Rovira, is located between the source that gave it its name and the Torrent de la Carabassa.
The Carmel district
The Carmel neighborhood stretches along the slopes of the hill of the same name. The name comes from the sanctuary of Carmel, which was built in the mid-nineteenth century near the hill of Argentera.
La Teixonera district
The Teixonera sector, located between the Vall d’Hebron, the Coll and the Carmel, was formed in the period 1915-1930 and was then known as Colònia Taxonera.
Sant Genís dels Agudells district
Sant Genís faces east, with a steep landscape, which is why it was one of the last territories to be developed, except for the old parish of Sant Genís dels Agudells.
The district of Montbau is located at the foot of the slopes of Collserola, on the mountain side of the Ronda de Dalt.
The Hebron Valley district
On the sea side of the Ronda de Dalt, near the old road from Sant Genís to Horta, is the Vall d’Hebron district.
La Clota district
Located in a depression between the Carmel and the Paseo de la Vall d’Hebron, southwest of Horta, La Clota is one of the oldest settlements in the district.
The first reference to Horta is from 965, when the Horta valley is mentioned in a donation of land to the church of Sant Miquel in Barcelona.
Hospital de la Santa Creu y Sant Pau
The Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau is a modernist complex located in the city of Barcelona that was designed by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. It was built between 1902 and 1930 in two phases: the first, carried out by himself between 1902 and 1913, which consists of thirteen modernist buildings; and the second, made by his son Pere Domènech i Roura from 1920, which has six other buildings of moderate modernism, as well as other later constructions. Although the entire original project has not been fully developed, its notoriety has been recognized with several awards and recognition as a World Heritage Site.by UNESCO in 1997.
Built as a modern and innovative hospital, a hundred years later it has ceased to perform these functions, which were moved, from 2009, to a new hospital within the same perimeter of the site, in line with the needs of the century xXI. After four years of restoration work, the modernist site was inaugurated on February 24, 2014, hosting, among others, United Nations and WHO centers.
Built with the materials and decoration of a modernism with neo-Gothic inspiration, the profusion of ceramics stands out, with prophylactic and decorative functions, exposed brick and sculptures that incorporate a wide iconography showing the religious and historicist vision of its author.
Due to the large number of buildings, its ornamental richness and its level of conservation, the Hospital de Sant Pau is the largest complex of Catalan modernist architecture.
Horta-Guinardó is a territory full of history, of unique episodes that have marked the passage of time in what are its current neighborhoods. We’re talking about a compendium of events, the vast majority with hundreds of years behind them, many of them prominent.
Sant Genís dels Agudells
Despite having lost its rural aspect, the historical-artistic ensemble of Sant Genís dels Agudells continues to maintain the warmth of the past.
The church of Horta
The primitive church of Sant Joan d’Horta was located near Can Cortada, where today is Carrer de l’Església. The building, which had been consecrated as a church on June 12, 1260, was small, unconditional, and far from the village.
The farmhouse of Can Fargas or Mas Pujol, recently acquired by Barcelona City Council after a long complaint from residents, is located between the streets of Frederic Rahola, Peris and Mencheta and Passeig de Maragall.
The Torre Llobeta
The Torre Llobeta is a magnificent example of Catalan Gothic architecture from the 15th and the beginning of the 16th century, which still maintains the Gothic arches that, from different parts of the city, the municipal architect Pere once incorporated Falqués.
At the corner of Carrer d’Horta and Carrer del Vent, we find Can Mariner, one of the important farmhouses, years ago, in the plain of Barcelona and now converted into the Biblioteca Horta – Can Mariner.
Carrer d’Aiguafreda is a narrow alley with a series of small houses, many of which still have water wells and some laundries, which, according to tradition, were used to wash the well-to-do of Barcelona.
The farmhouse of Can Baró
The farmhouse of Can Baró dates back to at least 1674, a figure that is written on the threshold of its door. Privileged in the middle of the mountains, it allowed to glimpse the wide lands of its property. The name comes from one of its owners.
Ca n’Andalet, also known as Can Grasses, is located on Carrer de Lisboa, between the Carmel and Clota neighborhoods. The property was sold to Hermenegild Grasses in 1675 by the canon of the Cathedral of Barcelona, Jeroni de Francolí.
Can Travi Nou
On the old road to Sant Cebrià, today Carrer de Jorge Manrique, in front of the Pavilion of the Republic, is the farmhouse of Can Travi Nou, a ground floor and one storey building from the beginning of the 18th century.
In the Plaça de Santes Creus, the old Plaça Major of Horta, is the building of the Can Gras farmhouse. The farmhouse had been owned by M. Rosa Fernández, widow and heiress of Pau Ferrer, who sold it to Josep Sabadell, who in 1760 sold it to Pau Gras i Quich.
The Labyrinth of Horta
The Labyrinth Park, with an area of 54.07 hectares, is located in the old lands of Can Llupià, at the foot of the Collserola mountain range, near the Palau de les Heures and right next to the Mundet Homes. In a city without many distractions, the Labyrinth of Horta became an unprecedented attraction for wealthy people, the nobility and even the royal house.
The market in Plaça d’Eivissa
In the past, in Horta, a free market was set up and dismantled every day, on Carrer Major, and its settlers had to carry all the utensils every day.
From the independence of Horta, in the second half of the century, this population experienced an increase in summer camps that began with several towers on the Rambla de Cortada, now Carrer de Campoamor.
Ca l’Armera or Cal Ros
Ca l’Armera or Cal Ros is an old 15th century farmhouse located in Carrer del Cardenal Tedeschini, 32, where the road from Horta to Sant Martí de Provençals used to pass. Probably built on the remains of a Roman villa, it was known in the 17th century as Can Peguera.
The farmhouse of Can Mora
The farmhouse of Can Mora is located on the Coll del Portell, at the end of the Camino de les Donzelles or Can Mora and near the sanctuary, now a parish, of the Virgen del Coll. According to the lintel of the door, its construction dates from 1730.
Located on the border of Horta with Sant Andreu, the Can Carreres farmhouse is located in the Central Park of Nou Barris, near Passeig d’Urrutia and below that of Fabra i Puig.
El Carmel, a hermitage between Gràcia and Horta
The Carmel hermitage, which has given its name to the neighborhood, was built by Miquel Viladoms in honor of the Virgin of Carmen in the foothills of the hill of Can Mora.
The House of the Heights
In 1870, the water company acquired a farm to make a water tank in Can Baró. In 1890, the master builder Enric Figueras built a neo-Arab line building commissioned by the company’s chief engineer.
The first trams in Horta
Nine years passed from the first project in 1874 to the arrival of the tram in Horta. The project of the new line planned to unite this town with the neighboring Sant Andreu, where the tram from Barcelona to Clot and Sant Andreu had its end.
History of the Diagonal
Avinguda Diagonal is one of the most important roads in Barcelona. Everyone, live in the neighborhood you live in, has been there more than once. It is 11 kilometers long, and on the other side of the University Zone it is 92 meters wide.
The “demons and shepherds” of the Lluïsos
One of the most popular traditions in the Christmas cycle is the representations of the Little Shepherds. They are performed all over Catalonia, both by professional and amateur theater companies.
Carrer del Tajo versus Carrer de la Riera d’Horta
For many people in Horta, Carrer del Tajo will always be the Horta stream, a natural passage of water that, from Collserola, would end up in the sea.
The Palace of the Hours
Josep Gallart, promoter of the construction of the Palau de les Heures, was one of those entrepreneurs who made a fortune in the Americas. Settled in Puerto Rico, where in addition to being a businessman he was a deputy and senator, he returned to Barcelona when Spain lost the island at the end of the 19th century.
The Mas Casanovas hotel
In a space segregated from the lands of Mas Casanovas, delimited by the streets of Cartagena, Castillejos, Mas Casanovas and the Ronda del Guinardó, behind the hospital of Sant Pau, a luxury hotel was built at the beginning of the last century. ‘eclectic style.
Several hills rise on the plain of Barcelona. In fact, there are seven, as in Rome. Despite this coincidence, those in Barcelona have gone more unnoticed in the general knowledge of the city.
The Horta-Borbón depot
When the company Tranvía de Barcelona in San Andrés y Extensiones opened the Horta line, it bought the land for the Can Xiringall farmhouse to build the new garages.
The waters of the Font d’en Fargues
Pere Fargas, the son of some industrialists from Sant Martí and married to Montserrat Casanovas, owner of Mas Pujol, decided to exploit the water that emanated from his property on Puig Màger.
The Tresfonts school
On May 31, 1899, Mrs. Francisca Tubau Massanell bought three plots of land between what is now Rambla de Volart and Carrer de Feliu.
One hundred years of Tragic Week
One hundred years ago, between July 26 and August 1, 1909, Barcelona and most of its neighborhoods experienced what came to be known as Tragic Week.
The Rabassada tram
In parallel with the inauguration of the Casino de la Rabassada, on 15 July 1911 a tram line driven by the same managers also entered service.
One of the most popular expressions in Barcelona for a long time to define a place is “Els Quinze”.
Horta Tennis Club
The Horta Tennis Club celebrated its centenary in 2012. It is the fourth in the city, in order of foundation.
The Palace of the Mutual Society
The Voice of Sant Martí of April 1927 published, in its history section, an interesting article on the Palau de la Mutualitat, a hospital establishment located in the municipality of Sant Martí de Provençals. The building of the Palau de la Mutualitat, with a built-up area of 1,461.80 m2, was formed in 1927 by three bodies or pavilions isolated and joined by the façade facing the sea.
La Font d’en Fargues
When the picnic areas were in decline, El Correo Catalán published, in 1971, a paper on these modest popular restaurant spaces, in which it was emphasized that they were in danger of disappearing.
From the Institut Ginecós to the CAP Maragall
Thanks to an initiative by doctors and nurses from CAP Maragall to recover the history of its surroundings, it has been possible to gather materials to write the history of the Institut Ginecós. After the war, the building of the Instituto Ginecós, located on Passeig de Maragall, 152, went to the National Delegation of Trade Unions of the FET and the JONS of the Obra Sindical of 18 July.
Brief history of the Peira hill
They say, and it is true, that in Barcelona, as in Rome, there are seven hills. These small promontories that rise in the plain of Barcelona are those of Modolell, Monterols, Putxet, Coll, Carmel, Rovira and Peira.
The Cheap Houses of Horta
During the works of the Universal Exposition of 1929, many people arrived in Barcelona from other parts of Spain.
The Giner de los Ríos school group
On February 28, 1932, the mayor of Barcelona, Dr. Aiguader, inaugurated the first school group promoted by the new City Council, which emerged in 1931 and was built on one side of the hill of La Peira.
Els Pastorets del Foment Hortenc
One of the most popular traditions of the Christmas cycle is the representations of the Pastorets, which are celebrated throughout Catalonia.
The refuge of President Lluís Companys
At the foot of the Collserola mountain range and inside the Mundet Campus of the University of Barcelona, is the Palau de les Heures, built by order of Josep Gallart Forgas on his return from Puerto Rico in 1895, where he had made a fortune.
The legends of the canyons of the Rovira
The recovery of the space of the old anti-aircraft battery of the hill of La Rovira, as well as some writings that have appeared recently in different publications, have brought up to date this old defensive position of Barcelona. Continuing with the argument of which and how many canyons were on the hill of La Rovira, the writer Joan Perucho, in a writing in the newspaper Avui, spoke of some canyons called cerlinkons, although he did not remember their name well.
The anti-aircraft guns of the hill of La Rovira
In the middle of the Spanish Civil War, the command of the Army of the East chose, to protect the city of Barcelona, the top of the hill of La Rovira, 269 meters high and a 360-degree viewing angle, for install anti-aircraft guns. It is well known that during the Spanish Civil War a four-gun Vickers 105 anti-aircraft battery was installed on top of the Rovira hill to defend the city from attacks by Franco’s aircraft.
The Can Peguera farmhouse, demolished at the end of the 1940s, was located right next to the church of Sant Francesc Xavier, next to the current Passeig de Fabra i Puig.
The shelter 647 of the Cheap Houses of Horta
Due to the bombings that Barcelona suffered during the Civil War, the neighbors near the hill of La Peira built an anti-aircraft shelter in the neighborhood of the Cheap Houses of Horta.
Group of huts “Los Cañones”
During the Civil War, and then during the post-war period, the city was filled with people from all over Spain who, fleeing various penalties, made Barcelona their target. The lack of services that this group of huts had forced their inhabitants to cement the roads and make stairs, and with great effort they had to raise the water at home.
The Camils brothers and the Cork Tower
On June 10, 1946, the Congregation of the Missionary Brothers of the Poor Sick, popularly known as the Camel Order, was founded in Barcelona.
Parks and gardens
Horta-Guinardó offers plenty of outdoor spaces ideal for walking and enjoying nature and the landscape. Explore every corner of the parks and gardens in the area; don’t be afraid to get lost and find your way back to the labyrinth of Horta, let yourself be surprised by the Palau de les Heures and get to know all kinds of flowers and trees.
Can Fargues is already documented at the end of the 12th century and was known in the 19th century as Mas Pujol. The Romanesque tower is included in the Catalog of Protection of Architectural Heritage with the maximum protection (level B or Cultural Asset of Local Interest), Can Fargues is one of the farmhouses that has best withstood the passage of time and offers a medievalist image, unusual in the urban landscape of Barcelona.
The gardens surrounding the farmhouse have an area of 2000 m². The green area is made up of two different garden spaces: the upper part, more sunny and with warm climate vegetation, and the northern part, romantic style, with cold-resistant species, dense vegetation and groups of casuarinas which reach fifteen feet in height. In addition, the space has a circular square with a pond and stone benches.
The Labyrinth Park of Horta forms a remarkable complex, currently owned by the municipality of Barcelona, around an old mansion of the Vallsecas and then the Roger, which passed in the eighteenth century in the Desvalls, Marquis of Poal and Llupià and then of Alfarràs (remains of the old Sovereign Tower remain behind the palace built in the last century, with a neo-Muslim façade); the gardens were created from 1793 by Joan Antoni Desvalls i d’Ardena(who was an outstanding mathematician and scientist) with the help of the master builder Andreu Valls and according to plans by the Italian engineer Domenico Bagutti; the circle of cypresses and the water pipes date from 1797-99 and were decorated with sculptures, a temple and balusters. The gardens are located on the Paseo de la Vall d’Hebron, north of the old village (walkway that follows the so-called road from Cornellà to Fogars de Tordera, opened in 1869), at the foot of Collserola, between the Mundet Homes and access to Can Papanaps. They are currently a garden-museum and in one part of the building there are offices of the Municipal Institute of Parks and Gardens
Xavier Montsalvatge Park
It is a garden with a privileged panoramic view over Barcelona, which invites the attentive and leisurely observation of the city, on a green surface gained from the roof of the Horta urban bus depot. A 20,000 m2 garden roof that also acts as a second façade of the facility. A space where the route orders, distributes and circumscribes the green, contrasting it with the natural and random disposition that it has in the Collserola mountain range. It is structured from circles-craters of different diameters that accentuate the character of domesticated space. The place becomes a watchtower from which to enjoy the view over the city, while solving the collection, drainage and evacuation of rainwater that falls on the roof and is collected from the slope of the mountain in case of torrential rain.
Frida Kahlo Gardens
The gardens, dedicated to the Mexican painter, are the closest link to the Ronda de Dalt of a chain of green spaces in the Vall d’Hebron. A set of gardens that make up a longitudinal plant mosaic parallel to Collserola. We are in a space where Mediterranean tree and shrub vegetation predominates. The gardens are also known among the residents of the Vall d’Hebron district as the star gardens, which is the shape that draws the central parterre of the gardens and also the sides. The parterres that surround the perimeter of the gardens maintain a broken line, which generates spaces like the spikes of a star, which separate the green from the passable pavement. An aerial view of the garden shows a stellar shape, encircling the central star: one star inside another star.
Gardens of Rosa Luxemburg
The gardens, which do not have a large area, but which offer a good view of the Carmel hill thanks to its flat position. The Rosa Luxemburg Gardens are limited, on the one hand, by school facilities, which serve as a second luxury courtyard, and, on the other, by the avenues of the Statute of Catalonia, Cardinal Vidal i Barraquer and the continuation of Jorge Manrique Street. This garden is a green space, with a lush greenery that stands out and shines in the middle of the open spaces that surround it.
Hebron Valley Park
The Vall d’Hebron is a connection point between the city and Collserola. Surrounded by hills and steep slopes that are arranged as a succession of platforms facing the city, it retains the layout of the old streams within the new viability. This area connects different green spaces located in an urbanized area again and again on the occasion of the 1992 Olympic Games, and which includes various sports and residential facilities. Strictly speaking, the park is a succession of squares at different levels – some shaded by pergolas and trees of attractive species – and large roadside parterres, most of them flat. All over this wide area there are reedbeds, ivy that covers the slopes of the hills and a large number of trees and palm trees, some of which already existed when these lands were urbanized.
Gardens of the Prince of Girona
The gardens occupy the old central courtyard of a barracks. Very integrated space in the neighborhood, very nice and with many services that invite you to spend the whole day. You can enjoy sun and shade, there are tables and a very large lake, you can read, play and have lunch or snack. The Jardins del Príncipe de Girona is located on land with landscaped slopes. All accesses, mostly ramps, lead to a saulon esplanade with children’s games, ping pong tables, a bar with tables under the shade of pine trees and a dog area. On one side, a large lake, with a row of small islands that cross it from one end to the other.
The Water Park
This green space removes a part of the houses in the Baix Guinardó district from the heavy traffic that supports the Plaça d’Alfons X el Savi. Due to its location, it is a mountainous island with a stepped structure with independent terraces that are separated by stone walls and paths. Each of these terraces has a different function. Although most are seating and relaxation areas, with many benches, there are also three children’s play areas, a small multi-sports court and a petanque court, not to mention a properly demarcated picnic area with guaranteed shade for the summer.
Parc de les Rieres d’Horta
The Rieres d’Horta park, a name given by the surrounding area, allows the neighborhoods of La Clota and Horta to be connected and brought closer together, historically separated by a road strip that acted as a border. The proximity to Collserola makes the park a biodiversity connector between the mountains and the city. It sits on the rainwater regulation tank of Les Rieres d’Horta and the cleaning park of the road cleaning services in the Horta-Guinardó district. The park offers numerous vegetation and incorporates important innovations in the field of renaturalization, such as the planting of natural harbor trees, which allows to obtain a high density of biomass and enhance the connection with Collserola, and energy self-sufficiency criteria, with the presence of a photovoltaic pergola of 642 m2, which takes advantage of the energy of the Sun, or public lighting by LED remote controlled on demand.
Horta Labyrinth Park
The Labyrinth of Horta park includes the oldest preserved garden in the city. Born as a neoclassical garden with a touch of Italian physiognomy, it ended up as a romantic garden. It is definitely a maze. Decisions, hypotheses, theories are ways to find solutions and each shortcut opens a new point of view. Think about it as you try to unravel the park’s vegetable maze made of wide, domesticated cypress walls. If you can’t find the heart that the park stole from you when you get to the center, ask Eros where you can get it back. His sculpture is in the middle of the maze.
The Guinardó Park
A park where the rusticity of the forest coexists with the elegance of a garden of cut shrubs, with water as the protagonist. This park is a space where the rusticity of the forest coexists with the elegance of a garden of cut shrubs, where water plays a major role. Guinardó Park has three distinct parts: an urban part, which becomes the antechamber of the large space occupied by this green area; another historical one and, above all, the leafy forest vegetation. Its landscaped terraces and pine groves make this place one of the most refreshing and peaceful green spaces in the city. Because the park is quite steep and has a considerable altitude, there are many people who approach it for sports and running for a while. And it’s worth it: above all there are viewpoints from where you can enjoy the magnificent views of Barcelona.
In this great sports venue that represents Barcelona, Horta-Guinardó occupies a central place, both in terms of the practice of sports in sports centers and enclosed venues, and in relation to the exercise in the streets and squares, and the natural spaces. More than a hundred facilities. Spaces (such as the Tres Turons or Collserola) for enjoying urban hiking and running. Clubs where all kinds of sports can be practiced.
Walking is synonymous with health. There is nothing better, for all ages, to be fit, than the practice of sports, regulated according to the ability of each. Urban hiking is a guarantee of moderate physical exercise, which revitalizes people.