Les Corts district, Barcelona City, Spain

Les Corts is one of the ten districts of the city of Barcelona. The district of Les Corts has its origins in the old village of the same name, located in the western part of the plain of Barcelona, a rural area with fertile land that occupied approximately the territory between the Magória stream and the Blanca stream. Currently, the district of Les Corts is made up of three districts: Les Corts, Pedralbes and La Maternitat and Sant Ramon.

The delimitation of the current district corresponds very much with that of the free lands that were established in medieval times, then ruled directly by the count king to favor its development. Precisely this administrative situation in which no local power intervened is what favored the choice of this space for the location of the Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Pedralbes.

The Decree of New Plant of 1716 meant the loss, among other things, of the privilege of the franchises that the Cortes had enjoyed. As a result, and during the difficult years following the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1713 / 1715), some landowners were forced into the emphyteutic establishment of the lands of their property. The constitution of Cádiz and the creation of the parish of the Virgen del Remei allowed the establishment of a new full municipal unit in 1832, which was annexed to Barcelona in 1897.

The neighborhoods that make up the district of Les Corts are one of the gateways to Barcelona, thanks to its location in the southwestern sector of the city and with the axis of the Diagonal that vertebrae from end to end. It borders to the south with Esplugues de Llobregat and L’Hospitalet de Llobregat; to the north, with the districts of Sarrià – Sant Gervasi and the Eixample; to the east, with the Sants-Montjuïc district and, to the west, with the Collserola mountain range.

Les Corts is the 4th district of Barcelona,and is made up of the neighborhoods of Pedralbes, Sant Ramon and La Maternitat and the neighborhood of Les Corts. It borders the municipality of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat to the south and the district of Sants-Montjuïc, the north with the district of Sarrià – Sant Gervasi, the east with the Eixample and the west with the municipalities of Esplugues de Llobregat and Sant Just Desvern.

The district of Les Corts has its origins in the old village of the same name, located in the western part of the plain of Barcelona, a rural area with fertile land that occupied approximately the territory between the Magória stream and the Blanca stream. There are indications of human occupation in this area dating back to the Iberian and Roman times. The agrarian tradition of the area is evident in the existence of some Roman villas in the territory where today the district of Les Corts extends. During the Middle Ages, some farmhouses were fortified, such as the Torre Rodona farmhouse, which is still preserved today and which takes its name from the defense tower that was added at the time of the Arab raids at the end of the 10th century.

The inhabitants of Les Corts —from the Carolingian period, until the ninth century— enjoyed the privileges of the franchises that had been recognized by a sentence of James I, in 1274. They were considered citizens of Barcelona and were exempt from taxes other than those of royal hostel. The royal mayor of the franchises appointed a local mayor in the Cortes, which led to the social structure being maintained on the basis of landowners, maintaining territorial independence. The delimitation of the current district corresponds very much with that of the free lands that were established in medieval times, then ruled directly by the count king to favor its development. Precisely this administrative situation in which no local power intervened is what favored the choice of this space to house the Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Pedralbes.

The current district of Les Corts, as it was delimited in 1984, is an amalgam of three sufficiently differentiated components: most of the old municipality of Les Corts de Sarrià, added in 1894; however, the eastern end is excluded, which has been included in the Eixample for reasons of urban coherence; the whole neighborhood of Pedralbes, historically part of Sarrià; the strip of Sants territory located between the Travessera de las Cortes, to the north, and Avinguda de Madrid, to the south.

Les Corts district
Les Corts, par excellence, is the neighborhood of harmony, where the historical tradition coexists with internationally renowned architecture.

The current neighborhood corresponds to the most historic area of the old town of Les Corts, which originated around the farmhouses that gathered around the torrents that flowed down from Collserola. In the 19th century it suffered a very rapid growth, which led to an administrative independence, promising but brief, since the Cortes was added to Barcelona in 1897. It currently has a very heterogeneous urban landscape that combines buildings of medieval origin, those from the first nineteenth and nineteenth centuries, and new construction that have created a catalog of contemporary architecture well recognized by several FAD awards.

The area known as Camp de la Creu – Loreto, east of the neighborhood, has inherited its name from the cross and the convent of the French nuns of Loreto that was in this place. During the seventies of the 19th century, the main streets and Plaça del Carme were opened, located on the central axis of this popular neighborhood. At the end of the century, various industries were set up around it, such as the Castells factory and its workers’ colony, which is currently being remodeled. The squares of Can Rosés, La Concòrdia and Comas, located along the transversal backbones, are the heart of the old town, above the Travessera de les Corts. The highest part of this sector has been occupied entirely by new residential and especially tertiary developments in both corners of the Diagonal. Neolithic and Iberian remains were found on the grounds of the old farmhouse of Can Batllori, on the Diagonal, as well as a villa and a Roman necropolis.

Finally, the sector of Can Novell – Plaza del Centro and Plaza del Sol de Baix, between the crossroads and Avinguda de Madrid, mostly includes areas of fairly recent urbanization, such as the land where there was the FC field Barcelona between the twenties and sixties of the twentieth century. It used to pivot on the vertical axis of Carrer de Vallespir, which facilitated the access of the inhabitants of Les Corts to the Sants train.

La Maternitat and Sant Ramon district
The University Area, the Royal Polo Club, the Les Corts Cemetery, the Maternity Gardens and the Camp Nou.

In the central sector of the neighborhood are three large facilities: the facilities of FC Barcelona, the historic cemetery of Les Corts (with the modern mortuary attached) and the Maternity complex. On either side of this whole are the two residential areas: Sant Ramon and the surroundings of Torre Melina to the west, next to the town of L’Hospitalet, and the surroundings of La Maternitat and Can Bacardí, to the east. At the western end of the neighborhood, between Sant Ramon and La Diagonal, there is another large piece of equipment made up, among others, of the South University Campus and the Polo Club. The name Sant Ramon comes from the neo-Romanesque parish of Sant Ramon Nonat, designed by the architect Enric Sagnier i Villavecchia in 1935. The Torre Melina was an old building, demolished in 1992.

The Casa de la Maternitat i Expòsits and the Can Bacardí farmhouse give their name to the other part of the neighborhood. The Diputació de Barcelona commissioned the architect Camil Oliveras i Gensana to design a care residence. The complex maintains some of those functions and currently there are also other facilities and services, in addition to the remarkable gardens, open to the city. Near the Maternity Hospital is the place known as Bederrida, a place name mentioned in a document from 945. On the other hand, the Bacardí gardens, located on the Travessera de les Corts, are a faithful testimony to the evolution that many of the farmhouses followed throughout the 19th century, when they were transformed into summer farms. The old private garden is, today, a green space for public use.

Pedralbes district
One of the most select neighborhoods in the city and, at the same time, one of the most unknown neighborhoods. Taking a walk always brings surprises.

The place name Petras Albas or white stones, documented in 986, refers to the light color of the rock in this area and was adopted by the farmhouse that presided over it, from which derives the name of the current neighborhood. Queen Elisenda de Montcada, the fourth wife of James II, chose the site to found, in 1327, a monastery of Poor Clares, the current Monastery of Pedralbes, which is considered one of the jewels of Catalan Gothic. Other places of historical interest are the Can Canet farmhouse, Santa Caterina and the Font del Lleó, Santa Maria Reina and the Vila Hèlius.

Today, Pedralbes is the highest level residential area in Barcelona, with large mansions – old and new – surrounded by gardens, such as around Pearson Avenue and Oreneta Park, or isolated blocks. as in the surroundings of Avinguda de Pedralbes and Carretera d’Esplugues. The neighborhood includes, at its western end, the whole or small neighborhood of La Mercè, created in 1946 with the name of Las Cinco Rosas, referring to one of the symbols of the Phalange. The Instituto Nacional de la Vivienda built 123 sheltered housing units that, in 1981, became part of the urban social heritage. The neighborhood includes the large Cervantes Park, the Bruc barracks, the gardens and the Royal Palace of Pedralbes, as well as the North Campus of the University Area. Also noteworthy is the Güell estate, by Gaudí, with the famous dragon in the forged entrance. At the eastern end, between Avinguda de Pedralbes and Ronda del Mig, is the residential sector of the Font dels Ocellets – Santa Gemma.

The superblocks of Sant Ramon
From Gran Via de Carlos III to Riera Blanca and between Avinguda de Madrid and Travessera de les Corts, there is a large neighborhood area in which the project for the superblocks of La Maternitat and Sant Ramon is being worked on. Les Corts builds the new city, based on the neighborhoods. The perimeter of the superblocks of the Cortes extends around the streets of Arizala, Felipe de Paz and Benavent. A neighborhood with warmth to live at human speed.

The district of Les Corts offers many possibilities to develop any facet related to culture. Libraries, civic centers, auditoriums, rehearsal rooms… make possible the activities of the cultural and leisure entities of the Cortes. Instrumental music and singing, lyrics and language, painting and design, tradition and party… Any format of expression, from tradition to current creation.

The district has a network of municipal cultural facilities formed by the Can Déu Civic Center, the Joan Oliver “Pere Quart” Civic Center, the Les Corts Cultural Center and the Riera Blanca Cultural Center. New facilities are being built on the site of the old Planell Glassworks.

Historical memory route
Inspired by the project developed by the Master in Urban Design and the Polis Research Center: Art, City, Society of the University of Barcelona, this route has been drawn up with the collaboration of the Association for Culture and Memory of Catalonia (ACME) and Barcelona City Council. The Route of the Historical Memory of the Cortes in Barcelona proposes an urban route through thirteen locations in the district: buildings, monuments, urban environments strongly identified with historical events of the period of the Second Spanish Republic, the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship.

Three projects of ideas for “memoryless” spaces are also proposed, where the demolition of Franco’s monuments has been carried out. This is the case of the places where the old monument dedicated to José Antonio Primo de Rivera and the monument to “los caídos” stood. The third project identifies the women’s prison in Les Corts, which has now disappeared. It is a place with a strong social and human history of Franco’s repression, today invisible in the urban landscape of the city.

Here are the locations of the route:
Ancient monument to José Antonio Primo de Rivera
Yoke and arrows on housing plates
Ancient monument to the heroes of Espinosa de los Monteros
Old field of Les Corts
Residence of Spanish Army officers
Ancient monolith dedicated to the Condor Legion
Former women’s prison in Les Corts
Eucharistic Congress of 1952. Monument to Pius XII
Faculty of Law, urbanization of Maria Cristina and University Area
Pedralbes Palace
Fallen monument, ancient monument to “the fallen”
Camp Nou
Barracks of the Bruc

Les Corts Exhibition Space
The construction of the new building of the District headquarters allowed the reorganization of the interior spaces of the historic building and the liberation of the noblest area. This allowed the Les Corts Exhibition Space to be opened to the public in the summer of 2012 in the central space of the old town hall of the town of Les Corts. Since then, the residents of the neighborhoods of Les Corts have had a new cultural and leisure point, in which various exhibitions of art, history or reflection on values are developed, which allow them to give voice. to various expressions.

The District of Les Corts convened, for the year 2017, a competition of exhibition projects aimed at entities and associations to make an exhibition at the Espai Expositiu de les Corts. The purpose of this initiative is to make visible and highlight the work done by the entities of the territory.

The Digital Manufacturing Athenaeum
The digital AdF is a space for creation and training, linked to new technologies and, in particular, to 3D digital manufacturing, where individual citizens, but also entities, organizations, universities and companies can be involved in a digital creative laboratory. A workshop equipped with software and manufacturing machines that allow the whole community to turn their ideas and concepts into useful physical products for society.

The one in Les Corts reopened in February 2017 after remodeling works, sharing space with the district’s new library, the Montserrat Abelló library, in Carrer Comtes de Bell-lloc, 192. A building that once it had been the Benet i Campabadal silk ribbon factory. Thus, the library and the Ateneu share space and resources, reciprocally enhancing their dynamics and allowing better access to information and knowledge. The aim is to make available to everyone the tools and machinery needed to create prototypes and develop projects.

The Network of Manufacturing Athenaeums is a pioneering initiative being promoted by Barcelona City Council within the strategic framework of smart cities. Manufacturing athenaeums (AdF) are spaces for creation and learning, linked to social innovation, new technologies and especially digital manufacturing, where citizens are active users and protagonists. These are spaces for public-private collaboration where individual citizens, but also local entities, organizations, universities and companies are involved in carrying out joint social innovation activities with the support of a laboratory. digital manufacturing: a workshop equipped with software and manufacturing machines to turn ideas and concepts into physical and useful products for society.

Manufacturing universities promote activities and projects that improve society (improvement of the neighborhood, the city or the world), which use the new models of open and networked organization and informal learning —creation, collaboration, crowdsourcing (crowdsourcing) collective financing (crowdfounding) – and using social media to share the knowledge gained with others. We are the people, when we connect our various knowledge, the co-creators of the environment in which we live.

In the neighborhood there is a remarkable educational offer:

Public education
Kindergartens: EBM Bambi, EBM Xiroi, EBM Can Bacardí and EBM Can Novell
Infant and Primary Education Centers: Lavínia Primary School, Itaca Primary School, Barcelona Primary School, Duran i Bas Primary School, Les Corts Primary School, Pau Romeva Primary School, Anglesola Primary School
Secondary Education Institutes: IES Les Corts, IES Pedralbes (result of the merger of the Ausiàs March and Joan Boscà high schools)
Adult Training Center: AFA Les Corts
Universities: UB and UPC.
Also included is the recent Institut-Escola Plaça Comes, the result of the merger of Les Corts school (nursery and primary school building) and the historic Ausiàs March school (secondary school building, currently has no high school

Arranged teaching
Infant and Primary Education: Father Manyanet School, Santa Teresa de Lisieux School, Sant Ramon Nonat School
Secondary Education and Baccalaureate: Father Manyanet School, Súnion ICC, Sants-Les Corts Marist School, Santa Teresa de Lisieux School, Sant Ramon Nonat School.

Private education
Infant and Primary Education: Loreto School – Abbot Oliba
Secondary Education and Baccalaureate: Loreto School – Abbot Oliba

Special education
Special Education Centers: Paideia School, Jeroni de Moragas School and Esclat School.
Occupational Centers: Les Corts Occupational Center and Ariadna Occupational Workshop.
Les Corts Mental Hygiene Center
Joan Amades Educational Resource Center – ONCE
On the other hand, the district also has two libraries integrated within the Library Network of the Barcelona Provincial Council: the Can Rosés library and the Miquel Llongueras Library.

Les Corts is home to Barça, one of the most famous football clubs in the world. The FC Barcelona Museum is the second museum in Catalonia in terms of the number of visitors. The club has always been associated with Catalanism and has the largest stadium in Europe, the Camp Nou, which seats 98,600 people.

The Les Corts Sports Association is an entity that was founded in 1976 with the aim of introducing children and young people to the practice of sport. It was born under the belief that sport is a tool to train children who decide to play sports.

The festival
The main festival of the neighborhood is celebrated around October 7, the day of the Virgin of the Remedy, patron saint of the Cortes. Its colors are blue and red. In 2006, the 200th anniversary of the neighborhood’s main festival was celebrated, as the first of which there is documentary evidence dates from 1806.